A luxury hotel seeks to understand how they can play a more value-added role in the traveller's journey, and in turn increase repeat visits and give their business greater consistency.
Phase 1: Our team conducts a digital ethnographic analysis of over 16,000 consumers in the US and UK (both major markets for the hotel company). We focus exclusively on luxury travellers and identify an emerging global shift in the mindset of the consumer. Over 20% of luxury travellers in both countries are seeking deeper immersion opportunities into the local cultures where they travel. Even trips taken primarily for business incorporate an element of local exploration and cultural knowledge building. In particular, our research shows that three key activities make up the act of exploration and knowledge building - food, alcohol, and shopping.
Phase 2: Given the hotel's existing interests in food, our team proceeds to conduct a follow-up ethnographic analysis in the same two markets, this time focusing on consumer beliefs towards food and the act of dining out. We examine a fresh sample of 15000 consumers across both markets, this time looking broadly cross income groups.
We discover that 33% of local consumers look at dining out as more than just an act of culinary exploration. They want to walk away from their experiences with knowledge - be it in the form of the type of cuisine they experience, or the inspiration of the chef, or even the story behind the ingredients. And all these pieces of knowledge eventually come together in helping this type of consumer curate an identity for themselves that is worldly, progressive, and generally curious. And interestingly enough, over 60% of these consumers share the same traits as the influential consumer group identified through the luxury travel ethnography - education levels, income levels, types of professions, behavior when it comes to sharing their knowledge etc..
Our team realizes that food has become a status symbol, and it is playing a much more significant role in defining the identity of the traditional luxury travel consumer than anything else in culture. Which means, a consumer that may have traditionally stayed at a luxury hotel for "status" reasons would now be open to AirBnB, if they believe it gives them access to a more authentic local experience.
Our client realizes that trends in food are negatively affecting consumer motivations to pick luxury hotels, especially for leisure travel. Our client implements a series of initiatives to invest in and collaborate with local restauranteurs and chefs, to establish a foothold in key parts of each city where they wish to earn cultural credibility.