Millennials Want It All

Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1999) have earned many stereotypes – from educated and tech-savvy to lazy, entitled and self-centered. Regardless of social critiques, this Me Generation, over 75 million strong, is set to surpass baby boomers to become the largest share of the U.S. population. Marketers are focused on tapping into this consumer powerhouse with over $200 billion in buying power.

Some companies aren’t just reshaping their marketing approach – they’re adapting their products and services. Hospitality giants such as InterContinental, Hilton, Marriott, Choice, and Best Western, for example, are creating new brand extensions to attract millennials who make up 50% of total bookings. Hotels are catering to the Now Generation by embracing social media and peer reviews, introducing new mobile-friendly booking technologies with real-time information, and offering a unique local experience. So what’s the key to success?

As a millennial traveler myself, here’s a few of my thoughts on what can get us to forgo that room on Airbnb.

Millennial Must-Have’s:
1. Free WiFi is not an amenity, it’s a requirement.
2. User reviews matter. On average, millennials visit 10.2 sources before finally booking a hotel.
3. Website and booking portal must be mobile friendly, image heavy and keep the copy short and simple.
4. Promote events and incentives on social media.
5. Streamline the guest experience. Think check-in kiosks and concierge apps.
6. Boutique is in. Cookie-cutter is out.
7. Clean design. Local culture and cuisine.
8. Create social environment – lobbies with bar seating, pods for groups, and open lounge seating.

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