Luxury Travel, Lifestyle and Marketing Trends
Whether it’s the top 1% or just your average traveler, we all enjoy getting in touch with the child in us. And now, with so much negativity in the headlines, it’s truer than ever before. Things that are fun and make us smile bring back memories and create new ones. Special amenities, services and facilities don’t have to cost much. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing. Case in point, on a recent trip to Milan I saw a selection of candy jars in the entrance to the lobby lounge at The Bulgari Hotel. The candies — liquid filled jellies, house made marshmallows, and other sweet treats were there for guests for the taking. Besides the jars were cellphane bags with lovely Bulgari silk ribbons. The concierge said they were very popular with guests and are also featured at their hotel in London. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago hotel has its candy man, and nostalgic food and beverage treats like popcorn, popsicles and milk and chocolate chip cookies are making a comeback.
If you go to any of the leading, state of the art teens clubs such as the one at The Breakers in Palm Beach or at Grand Velas Resorts in the Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit you’ll see some adults without their teens kids, enjoying everything from the karaoke and virtual reality games to ping pong and X-Box Kinect. Or witness the success of the Aloft Hotels concept of retro games In the lobby, always a big draw with millennials.
More can be done to appeal to hotel guests and cruise travelers on this score, and think of the fun thinking up the ideas!
Guest blogpost by Kevin R. Escalera
Snapchat is all in the news in marketing and advertising circles. Here’s a quick guide to geofilters, one of the best ways for businesses to use the app:
What is currently the best social media tool for brands to reach millennials?
It’s the fastest growing mobile app among teens and millennials in the United States, passing Twitter and Instagram. Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users, with more accounts created each day. Over 8 BILLION videos are viewed on Snapchat each day.
How can businesses, events and brands easily use SnapChat to their advantage?
Custom branded geofilters.
What are Geofilters?
A geofilter is a digital sticker that changes based on your location. Snapchat users are able to share your logo or event info without having any contact or interference from the sponsor or brand. These stickers can be added to any photo or video that you take in the Snapchat app.
Why use Geofilters?
Geofilters are a fun way for brands to get in front of a lot of people attending events or visiting a store, restaurant or nightclub.
How do they work?
Step 1: Design a custom geofilter for your event or brand.
Step 2: Select a specific location that you are targeting using SnapChat’s Geofence tool.
Step 3: Select a date and time for your geofilter to go LIVE
Step 4: You are all set! Anyone in the area you have chosen at the selected moment who is using snapchat can see or use your filter while using the app.
What are the costs?
Minimal! Prices depend on how many hours/how large the area is but on average the costs are around $20 per hour for a mid-sized event space.
Are travel awards still an effective branding tool and if so, how? Magazines, professional organizations, tour operators and more are giving awards on a regular basis. Some companies exist only for their award programs as a stand alone business, reaping revenues from entry fees. All of this has resulted in award inflation. And where they’re so prevalent, they’re less meaningful in the eyes of the consumer.
So what is their value? To the entity giving the award it’s an effective way to make new friends and reinforce relationships. Plus, in this age of social media, lists of Top 10 and Best of always rate high in views. Award recipients undoubtedly appreciate the recognition, getting their name out there, and being in rarefied company as in you’re known by the company you keep.
But how about their effectiveness for branding, and how to promote them through public relations? Here are do’s and don’t’s:
First the “don’ts”:
Too often the knee jerk reaction is let’s do a press release. If an award is given by a media property, other magazines or newspapers won’t be interested – that’s the competition.
It’s important not to send too many award releases to the same media or run the risk of overkill and their not opening your email after a while.
Think twice about how significant the award is. If it’s not from a well recognized organization, promoting the award can look as if the recipient is desperate to get a distinction and it won’t reflect positively on your brand.
Then the ‘do’s:
Think paid distribution channels as in online industry media (e.g.Hotels Online, HNET) as a vehicle to get the award news out. That helps build recognition within the industry and also helps SEO.
Send the award releases to past press guests who have visited your hotel(s), taken a cruise, whatever. It is a good way to keep in touch and reinforces the fact that you’re maintaining a quality product.
Social media which has an appetite for constant content is a perfect distribution channel for news of awards.
If the award is not from a media property, do consider sending it out to a wider distribution if it’s truly impressive, as in your being in the top 10, 25 or even 100 (e.g.Virtuoso’s bests, Expedia’s Insider Select).
And outside of PR, there are numerous ways to get the word out, especially if the award is impressive, from adding it to your signature and sending an eblast to your internal database, to highlighting it on your website, collateral, and more.