35 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2012 1:30 AM by anadyr RSS

Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers

Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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Since this subject is part of a restricted and copyrighted blog site, I cannot link to it here.  You'll have to trust me!

 

But a 2011 survey of a small group (under 100) of younger, frequent travelers showed that the majority picked a hotel brand not on the basis of familiarity or brand or loyalty programs, but on price and location. 


One on one interviews were conducted to go in depth on the subject.

 

One forced choice question set asked these young respondents to rank the reason for a hotel choice, and here are the rankings.  The numbers are the average of picked ranked from one to ten.

 

        • Location relative to destination: 8.1
        • Cost of room per night: 7.6
        • Free Wi-Fi or high-speed Internet: 7.0
        • Free breakfast: 4.0
        • Room type (suite, bed type): 3.5
        • Airline loyalty program points: 3.2
        • Hotel brand: 2.5
        • Coffee maker in room: 1.5
        • Hotel loyalty program: 0.2




Perhaps this is the new wave?

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Georgia, USA
  • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
    tryt53 Alumni Steward Platinum 5 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    If this is the new wave, it explains a lot why the Hotels are putting almost all their eggs attracting the younger "future" frequent stays.  I think this is what we're seeing and why we're having to lament over the degradation of loyalty program benefits.  The huge push to social media just reenforces that direction that the hotels are taking to stay in the race.  Soon we'll be talking more and more about what "used to be" (oops, we might be there already ).  I guess we can only hope that market and competition pressure from other hotel chains, keep our benefits and points at a level we still enjoy and  benefit from.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Maybe too soon to tell, tryt.

       

      One other finding was most of these younger folks used consolidators and social media in making their choices. Often the hotels.com and their ilk do not give points or nights as you know.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
        erc Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        Yes, hopefully maybe too soon to tell, but I'm leaning tryt's way, us old line loyalist diehards may well be going the way of Hot Shoppes and Farrells. It's how I feel when I watch the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and know only half of the presenters and even fewer of the winners.

        That's why I was so excited to discover this site, it greatly improves my chances of getting the most out of my points and wonderfully enhances the travel experiences to both old and new locales. Thanks for all the efforts, it's sincerely appreciated. And don't ever forget, the older we get the better we were.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          We are a bunch of folks who share a common desire--and that is to blog about travel (good and bad) and compare notes.  Thanks for the reminder and welcome aboard!

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
          tryt53 Alumni Steward Platinum 5 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          erc,

          Good points.  LOL on "the older we get, the better we were"!  I agree that this site has helped almost every one of us find better ways to travel and make the most our of the rewards we do still have.  I will try to hang around here, as long as there are benefits, and such great people to learn from, and share travel tips and stories with!!

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Tryt53,

      Their eggs certainly aren't going into weekend breakfasts...

      ProfChiara

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I don't now if it is a "new Wave" or not.  the only way to quantify change is to know past numbers to compare.  i.e., what did the same age group vote as important 40 years ago?  I believe that, in theory, I would agree with them.  'Points" are like coupons, you have to acquire a taste for them and young people haven't gotten there yet.  Rest assured, they will become point junkies like the rest of us once they have drank the koolaid.  We all know internet is where the young reside these days and it makes sense that it would be important to them.  Also, young folks don't drink coffee. If they do, they go to starbucks....

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
    gsueagle68 Platinum 7 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Based on what I have observed with younger travelers in my office, I would have to agree with the survey's results.  Price and location are paramount.  They are very savvy when it comes to locating the best price and will many times use such sites as Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire or even Priceline.  I believe in brand loyalty and as long as the brand is loyal to me and provides consistently great service.  I don't like to throw away money either, but I don't mind paying a FEW extra dollars knowing that I will be rewarded for my loyalty.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
      tryt53 Alumni Steward Platinum 5 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I think this is also reflected in Marriott's newest move to join with other hotels to allow users to book through their sites without using the discount chains like Expedia and all the others.  They realize that the newer generation is doing all this at high speeds via the internet.  The hotels too, have to keep evolving to keep up with new advances in bookings by younger generations.  The new game is to keep up, ob go the way of Blockbuster and Hollywood video stores.  They got comfortable renting out their videos in the store, and I see a lot of closed stores that were once booming.  The ones who embraced the online aspect are the ones who survived or thrived.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      The points you made are well done.  I think there is a demand elasticity at work here in that a demand can actually drop when a certain price is exceeded.  Hotels get this and have consultant who they hire to adjust prices based on actual, perceived, estimated or other metrics of demand.  We are willing to pay the tariff at a higher rate, but there is a line which we cross with trepidation, and then we do not cross it anymore.  I agree that the demand curve is subjective, in that we can adjust our price barrier as we need to or if someone else is paying for us to stay.  But loyalty must be a two way thing, yes, and that is a problem with continuing loyalty programs--we remain loyal but the other side seems to be shrinking in their loyalty.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
    psukeith5053 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    As a young member myself, I would like to throw my opinion in on this topic.  I must agree, that if my company was not paying for my extended hotel stay, that price and location would be my top 2 highest priorities, as I am a recent college graduate and I want to stay as close to wherever I am traveling to for the convenience.  We are a generation addicted to social media, and because of this we have learned about all the tricks to finding the cheapest anything (whethere it be goods or services).  We also want everything faster and every possible benefit that is available.  Research has been done that actually says that because of the way we were raised (coddled????), that we have a sense of entitlement.  It may be that my generation doesn't find the rewards program necessary, because we feel "entitled" to the same low price as a platinum member, while also being treated in a similarly generous manner.    

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for focusing on the issue so well. I can't recall being young and have no clue about the power of social media--for that my kids are on call.  But the world is changing, let's hope Marriott changes too, for the better, and not just for a specific age group, but all of us.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
    Marriott Associate Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hey all - here is the link to the article referencing the survey SSSSS mentioned http://www.hotelsmag.com/Membership/logon.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fMembersOnly%2fblog%2fBlogDetail.aspx%3ftopicID%3d12633%26BlogID%3d733&topicID=12633&BlogID=733   Nothing new here - any publicly traded brand needs to be mindful of current and future customers. The focus of the the author's query was more around how they make their choices and reservations - either mandated by their employer or on their own - and to what extent the Online Travel Agencies play a part in their actions.  The results are not conclusive, in fact, the author offers this:  Note to reader: With a survey size of only 100, these results require verification through larger-scale research programs, and as such, should be considered directional, rather than statistically significant. Nevertheless, the results require careful examination.

     

    Relative to using social media channels - of our followers on Facebook, the largest demographic is 45+.

     

    Brand affiliation is also an area often studied in terms of Gen Y and there are tomes of data that could sway you either way...all social sciences are great guesses. I read them with glee and form my own conclusion from both business and personal experience.

     

    Enjoy your day!  MichelleL

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Were you aware of this survey before Larry blogged about it?  Jest wonderin' as we say in the West

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
        Marriott Associate Member
        Currently Being Moderated

        Personally, I wouldn't even qualify it as a survey -- it's entirely too small to draw any conclusions (as he states) and he hasn't even bothered to cite the source.  It's an interesting blog post - and I knew about it when it came out because it's one of the sites I get push media from.  He is a little dramatic in terms of claiming there is a 'significant weakness' - but I guess that's what sells papers (as we say in the East...)

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          I would say that any survey using one on one extended interviews is valid as far as the universe that it covers--if only one hundred. This is the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center methodology and it is proven to be as good as you can get.  In my survey research past life, the hardest thing  to do was to write questions that allowed me to understand the answer.  Muddy questions beget bad, unrecognizable answers.

           

          Where I have problems is it he had made this a generalized, across the board thing--which hopefully he will not do.  But it points to a trend that is occurring, just like thumb overuse and i-everything-itis prevalent  in America's traveling public.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Survey shows brand recognition weakness among younger travelers
    jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    The Hotel Mogel
    About the Author: Larry Mogelonsky

    Send a Tip

    How early career business travelers select their hotels
    (The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)

     

    A recently completed survey (summer 2011) of hotel purchase behavior
    indicates some potentially troubling news for hoteliers. In particular, this
    research reveals a significant weakness in hotel brand recognition.


    About the survey


    When I started my business career, travel arrangements were regimented. All
    requests went through the office travel department — our own in-house travel
    agency. There were few choices given to the employee, but it didn’t matter — I
    loved to travel. I looked forward to the ad agency visit to New York City, the
    tradeshow in Orlando or the plant tour in Michigan. My boss had some pull, and
    we enjoyed staying in such grand properties as the Waldorf=Astoria, the
    Hay-Adams and the Drake. Loyalty programs, the Internet and, of course, OTAs did
    not exist.


    The world has changed in the past 30 years. Many companies have disbanded
    their in-house travel arrangements recognizing the efficiencies of the Internet
    coupled with a desire to keep costs to a minimum. Given security, travel itself
    has become more of a chore. In addition, the myriad hotel brands offered to the
    traveler is sizably greater. The influence of loyalty programs for hotels,
    airlines and online booking systems now form critical factors in how travel is
    both arranged and consumed.


    To my knowledge, not much research has been done, or perhaps published, on
    the young business traveler — those just starting their business careers. Just
    as my early experiences in travel (and love of great hotels) were formed by my
    business trips working with Procter & Gamble and Pepsico, I was wondering
    what the travel experience was like for such modern-day “newbies.” Importantly,
    as habits are formed in our early years, I wanted to see how these travelers
    were planning their accommodation purchases.


    One hundred (useable) one-on-one interviews were conducting in the summer of
    2011, split almost equally between male and female respondents and between the
    ages of 24 and 34. Moreover, respondents were screened for those who had
    traveled for business by air at least twice within the past 12 months. Those
    surveyed lived in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Toronto, all
    having worked in a company with at least 25 employees.


    Note to reader: With a survey size of only 100, these results require
    verification through larger-scale research programs, and as such, should be
    considered directional, rather than statistically significant. Nevertheless, the
    results require careful examination.


    Survey questions and results


    How would you best describe your business travel experiences (pick one
    that best describes your feelings)?

     


      • I love to travel and enjoy new surroundings and experiences: 77%
      • Business travel creates even more work for me, and is an inconvenience: 4%
      • Travel is a necessity of my job/career; I have no choice: 12%
      • No response: 7%

     

    Does your employer have written policies that govern travel by air and
    hotel usage?

     


      • Yes: 60%
      • No: 12%
      • Not sure: 28%
    When traveling on business overnight by air, is this travel
    primarily:

     


      • Domestic: 88%
      • International*: 12%

     

    *Cross-border Canada-U.S. considered international travel)
    For these trips, who makes the majority of your business travel
    arrangements?

     


      • Reservations done by self: 73%
      • Travel agent/office travel coordinator/other: 27%

     

    For those who make travel arrangements themselves, what is the primary
    method?

     


      • Internet, using an online travel agency such as Expedia, Travelocity,
        Orbitz, etc.: 68%
      • Internet, booking direct with hotels and airlines on their respective
        websites: 26%
      • Via telephone direct to hotels or airlines: 6%
    When you travel by air, how often has this travel required an overnight
    hotel stay?

     


      • One to three times in the past 12 months: 74%
      • Four or more times in the past 12 months: 26%
    For those who can choose, when traveling on business, what are the
    criteria you use for selecting your hotel accommodation? (rated on a scale of
    zero to 10, where zero is not at all important and 10 is most
    critical)

     


      • Location relative to destination: 8.1
      • Cost of room per night: 7.6
      • Free Wi-Fi or high-speed Internet: 7.0
      • Free breakfast: 4.0
      • Room type (suite, bed type): 3.5
      • Airline loyalty program points: 3.2
      • Hotel brand: 2.5
      • Coffee maker in room: 1.5
      • Hotel loyalty program: 0.2
    Name three major hotel brands (unaided). Top five results
    were:

     


      • Hilton (or Hilton brand variations): 83%
      • Marriott (or Marriott brand variations): 76%
      • Sheraton or Sheraton Four Points: 65%
      • Expedia: 54%
      • Holiday Inn: 53%

     

    Have you ever heard of (aided “yes” responses):

     


      • Relais & Chateaux: 11%
      • Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide: 4%
      • Leading Hotels of the World: 4%
      • Historic Hotels of America: 0%
      • Summit Hotels: 0%
      • Small Luxury Hotels: 0%
    How many employees does your company have (your best guess)?

     


      • 25-100: 24%
      • 101-1,000: 39%
      • More than 1,000: 37%
    Do you belong to at least one airline frequent flyer/loyalty
    program?

     


      • Yes: 64%
      • No: 36%

     

    Do you belong to at least one hotel frequent guest/loyalty
    program?

     


      • Yes: 5%
      • No: 95%

     

    Conclusions


    While this is only a small-scale snapshot, and is by no means statistically
    significant, the hotel industry appears to have some work to do.


    Despite the economy, there is still some very strong enthusiasm for travel.
    As expected, travel arrangements focus on efficiency and cost, with most of
    those surveyed going to OTAs to make their arrangements.


    Hotel brands were not really part of their accommodation selection criteria,
    rating scarily close to the bottom. Perhaps what is most revealing was a
    response to a question on major hotel brand names, where Expedia beat out
    Holiday Inn. Since when is Expedia a hotel brand name? Not surprisingly, the
    survey also indicated a lack of awareness in the hotel affiliation programs such
    as Preferred or Leading. Hotel loyalty programs are bordering on
    non-existent.


    Indicated actions


    This survey demonstrates a further impact of the OTAs: the decline of brand
    differentiation amongst the youthful business traveler. Corporate hotel
    marketers should conduct their own research to validate these findings and
    propose ways to penetrate the mindshare of this segment wholly independent of
    the OTAs and potentially utilizing their hotel loyalty programs as a (yet
    untouched) tool. Remember: These customers are the future of our industry.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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