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Individualist, materialist and demanding are the main problem occurred by the millennials these days. Millennials are the generation of people born between 1980 and 2000, and are “reputed” to be the most challenging due to their number, about 2 Billion in the world, but also due to their characteristics which are really different from the others generations, in part because they were born during the boom of technology. However, the point here is not to analyze in all the millennials but it will be focuses on one of their characteristics which is the lack of loyalty. Rewarding the best customers or those who are loyal and expanding their consumption by discounts, gifts, benefits is an old practice. The hotel groups launched their own programs in 1983, first Holiday Inn then Marriott the same year. Nowadays, loyalty cards have multiplied and fill the wallet of the guests, sometimes, not knowing what to do. Loyalty is the fact of being loyal to something in the sense of fidelity, in hospitality would be the fact of going to the same brand or group when guest have to choose a property to stay during their vacation or business trips.
Firstly, introduction to the different generations and their main characteristics is required in order to understand millennials mind set and actions. Then the loyalty part of their characteristics will be supported, because it seems a real concern with this generation of mass information and advertisement. Then recommendations about what can be done to retain and encourage them to be more loyal would be given.
Millennials are mostly people between 18 and 30 these days. It is the largest cohort, with nearly 2 billion people in the world, surpassing the baby boomers. Because of their characteristics, they are changing in depth consumption trends. Born with a smartphone in hand, permanently connected to the internet, this generation is demanding speed, flexibility and transparency. Very challenging due, also, to their hyper individualism. By hyper, I mean, they are individualistic in the way they do not depend of any group, they are only preoccupying by them self, but also they are almost self-sufficient due to the usage of smartphone and their limited interaction with the real world, because the way they were raise was more favorable (kid is the king) . Their values: ethics and technology. Their paradox: bulimics of the digital, a grafted smartphone by hand, they also dream of total disconnection in full nature. Their idols are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, entrepreneurs who have changed uses with the ideal, submitted to debate, to improve society.
For 62% of them, it is essential to work in a company with a “strong social and environmental impact”. Millennials expose themselves on social networks, communicate via messaging apps like Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp, desert traditional TV and block online advertising. Above all, they want to consume differently, whether it is food (healthier, with short circuits) or products and services.
While in the other hand, the previous generation, generation x and baby-boomers, are almost the opposite. Baby boomers are the ones born between 1946 and 1964, so post World War II and were the biggest generation before the millennials, basically they are the grandparents of these millennials. They are at the number of 1.1billion, Baby boomers are distinguished by their very different characteristics from other generations.
This is probably due to the fact that they grew up in an environment generally dominated by the US military and us dream. They lived in a world of new wonders such as amazing gadgets, home appliances, and basically the start of the consumer society. At the time, it was very rare to find someone unemployed. This means that the majority of families enjoyed a prosperous life and this is why education, culture, politics and industries are mostly dominated by baby boomers. They show a categorical character, anticipating, able to withstand the worst situations. But there is not only positive character, they also have destructive tendencies like egoism, arrogance and their ruthless nature, which can engender despotism and/or bad conflict.
The last generation of baby-boomers is more distinguished than the first, because it did not live the military domination. The last ones on the other hand are distinguished more by the different cultural factors by which they passed. They are also known as the kind of first generation X. Now, they are wanting to leave their traces in history. The birth of baby boomers is a big chapter in history, which explains why they are so idealistic about their rights and are expected to have a big impact and influence on cultural and political issues.
Generation X are the children of the baby boomers and the parents of the millennials. Born between 1964/65 and 1980/81, the X constitute the sacrificed generation. Disconnected from the baby boomers who experienced full employment of the Thirty Glorious, they experienced two oil shocks, the crisis, unemployment, stopping growth, communism, the fall of the Berlin Wall and AIDS … What some call the Thirty Pitiful. They left their children, with much more communication and sharing space. In the world of work, they trust the company to which they are attached, the image of the company has become important and federative, for the benefit of productivity, encouraged and used by the employer. To avoid experiencing unemployment, many prefer to keep their jobs, even at the cost of poor social or professional conditions, they give up massively to consider a re-orientation, promising a better professional and personal development., nevertheless Respectful of the hierarchy, they had to prove themselves at the beginning. They are also the ones who put in place the processes and rules in force today in organizations. So the work is at the heart of their pre-occupation, this generation, ego-centered, stressed, adapts less easily to new situations, for fear of losing their job.
So in sum, the generations evolve with the time and the conjuncture. The evolution of the technologies gives new characteristic to the generation and world becomes more and more individualistic due to the society of consumer and new ways of communications. Baby-boomers are the last generation to be as mechanic (group before individual), then bit by bit with the millennials, the individuals are the only matter. So this how the millennials prefer their individual needs and wants compared to the complaisance.
1980 is the beginning of the digital revolution, innovations in computing and telecommunications are spreading widely, including the personal computer and mobile telephony with the marketing of personal computers (launch the Apple II), the first mobile phones were designed in the 1970s (the first portable telephone devise) but wide diffusion of the mobile phone in early 1990. These innovations profoundly alter both the lifestyle of households and the operation of businesses, and are at the root of productivity gains, that have significant impact on the generations. Then with the development of internet everything was accessible to everyone.
This is where the millennials were born and raise. Their attribute come, so, naturally because of the area they were raised with. They are born with computer, cell phones, internet and as said before, accessibility of everything when they need it. Mass media, mass consummation, mass whatever things make them being what they are, that is to say: demanding, impatient, lazy in a sort, always comparing for the best deal and so on. This is why the problem of the loyalty is the one that is easily noticeable. According to a YouGov survey for GT Nexus published in January 2017, 72% of 18-34 year olds do not hesitate to change brands if it no longer corresponds to their “values”: the quality of products of course but also their availability, the working conditions of the employees who produce them and the eco-responsible approach of the company. Much more factors are considerate nowadays compared as before, mainly because the choice are now multiple and alternative are easy to find, but also because information about companies are over internet and so feedback or article about them can be see and shared to influence the consumers (who are the millennials).
To attract the millennials, the presence of brands on social media seems obvious. However, the strategy to put in place requires a good knowledge of the use they make, says Adweek. Engaging requires choosing the right format, which is now video. More than the text, “it serves as a showcase for brand identity and increases awareness and commitment. Consumers no longer want to read about the brand, they want to see it.” The video remains the ideal tool to stage a universe to which the younger generations adhere. The digital natives have very specific expectations about their social experience with brands. MediaPost made a survey to know more about their expectation, so MP realized that they use before all the networks to exchange with their relatives and advertisements can be perceived as intrusive or aggressive if they do not reach the right target at the right time, so to be relevant and offer personalized content.
The loyalty of the millennials is a real concern now. Brand loyalty programs seem tasteless, modern and irrelevant, the system of these loyalty programs would be confusing, and the multiple steps to be taken would undermine their understanding, says Christopher K. Anderson of the Cornell University Hospitality Research Centre. As a result, 72% of opinions expressed on social media about hotel loyalty programs are negative, according to a 2015 study by consulting firm Capgemini. E.g. in 2016, Fuel Agency survey of 2,300 US leisure travellers around 25, revealed that 78% of them preferred to receive small discounts or privileges to use immediately rather than being offered another gift. great value for their next trip.
Millennials are marked by an economy in crisis, and their budget is limited. They will often look for the best price, even buying second hand or rent to save money. According to a report from the IAB, they are 70% to compare prices in store. Most of the time, they cross the internet price. The price will thus be one of the main purchasing criteria, followed by respect for the environment and quality. Paradoxically, Generation Y will most of the time, preferring a store visit to an online purchase for the emotion, feel, touch, try and so they realize 52% more impulse purchases than previous generations, according to a study of the Integer Group.
In tourism, they take full advantage of the deployment of low-cost which encouraged them to travel a lot and are also uberized thoroughly. Internet and technology, fell inside when they were little, contribute to determine their consumer behaviors. When the entire traveling population achieves an average of nearly 3 tourist trips (long or short) per year, the Millennials are at an average of more than 5 annually. And their tourism spending has increased by almost 10% per year over the past five years, compared to 4% for the general population. Today, 46% of hotel guest systematically consult online reviews to get an idea about a hotel before booking a room, and 78% of the Millennials are doing it. When they are in business trip, Generation Y finds more pleasure in traveling than over the 35years old (50% versus 34%), according to an OpinionWay study.
Digital native’s hotel research lies in the local cultural animation: He wants to explore all the dynamism around the hotel. This hotel must be the best guardian of his hard-earned money by offering him the best local possible for the best price possible. Authenticity is the key word of his excursion. E.g. Jaz in the City chain surprises explorer Y through the representation of a unique lifestyle of a city, relying on local musical and cultural activities. But since they are able to find this they do not really car if they are still in the same brand.
Overall, the loyalty issue is mostly due to the seek of comparison in order to get the best value for money and the massive choice they have to cope with.
Add to that the power of online agencies, OTAs, which offer Internet users extremely varied offers and capture valuable information on buyers, and we understand why the actors of the hotel industry need to reinvent the loyalty of their customers. It is therefore necessary to evolve, to differentiate more in the eyes of users, and to move from traditional practices to more creative and personalized rewards. It may be to make the consumption of accumulated points more flexible (use of immediate benefits instead of free nights in the future) or more diversified and responsible (points transformed into action for the solidarity and collaborative economy for example). But the loyalty of customers is not reduced to counting the number of people registered in a loyalty program. The goal, of course, is to have regular customers who use true brand loyalty and spend more on each visit, helping to increase sales in the long run.
We must look at the expectations of future customers, do not neglect those of Generation Y, between 18 and 34 years, because it will be key overcome the lack of fidelity. The study “Winning the race for guest loyalty” shows that Generation Y often aspires to an “affordable luxury”, a lifestyle beyond its means, taking pride in finding good deals. Millennials exercise their rewards in non-traditional methods, redeeming points for rewards other than stays .And Millennials for 45% think about their loyalty programs in terms of number of free nights earned rather than number of points or status. Most of the time, they follow the brands on the social networks, because they want to be able to interact with them. They follow the content, share it and like it. The e-reputation of brands then comes into play: 96% of them, according to a US study, it will have a significant impact on the purchase decision. It is therefore important to build a favorable reputation. Virtual visits to providers’ websites can also prove to be tools likely to capture the attention of -35 years old, when they organize their trips. Collect points for living experiences because nowadays Like all marketing strategies in the tourism industry, loyalty programs now rely on the customer experience to add value to the privileges offered. This is a way to attract the generation of millennials, fond of these novelties. E.g. Starwood has been a forerunner in this trend by creating SPG Moments, awards in the form of VIP access to sporting, cultural, culinary or musical events.
original initiatives, such as the temporary “Pay what you want” operation launched by five Parisian hotels, offer guests the chance to estimate the price of their night. This type of operation attracts attention but also helps to better understand the positive and negative aspects of the client’s stay and the value given to each component of the experience. Data collected during customer stays is essential and hotels still have room for improvement in their operations. Indeed, a lot of information is recorded but not always used to anticipate the needs of a loyal customer or to memorize his preferences. The response to customer expectations will also pass through this.
As said previously, millennials are attracted to buy promotion, personalization, value for money, so instead of having brand loyalty program for each brand and so having multiple cards, a French start-up Wanup, has created a hotel loyalty club brings together independent hotels and popular hotel chains in a single program, ensuring quality for members while maintaining individuality. 78% of business travelers prefer a club that rewards them with experiences that reflect their lifestyle or hobbies instead of points.
So at the end, the only way the retain the millennials and to overcome their sort of unloyalty to hotels brands, it’s targeting specific are that touch them and On the expectation side, each generation is different but millennials are looking for unique and personalized experiences when Generation X turns to rewards with no validity dates. However, the customization of the offer comes from both sides, the business traveler today wants to meet his own needs and take into consideration his desires and consumption habits.
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