Luxury Travel, Lifestyle and Marketing Trends

Young Foodies, your Devoted Customers-to-Be

Mikey Robins, 15, is the youngest champion of the Food Network's "Chopped".

Mikey Robins, 15, is the youngest champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped”.

More on millennials marketing. Remember you read it here first – teenagers and offspring of affluent parents will be a food focused generation. All of the signs are there. Teens favoriting the Food Network and other foodie shows, then trying out what they see in the kitchen. Even toddlers have become adventurous eaters and think nothing of eating sushi, sashimi and “Babe-a-ccinos” (a coffee free cappuccino).  We are, indeed, a food obsessed population. Look not only at the proliferation of cooking schools, growth of culinary tourism, tourist board food and wine festivals, but social networking sites, blogs, and review sites. Youngsters are eager to join their parents in cooking classes at the pricier resorts around the world. I have a 13 year old niece whose best friend gave her a ring that was inscribed with the words “kale” in honor of her obsession with the dark green leafy vegetable. Where does this come from? Their parents’ foodie culture.

Now we’re seeing exhibits honoring the world’s leading chefs: early next year will be an exhibit of the drawings and diagrams of master Spanish chef Ferran Adrià at the Drawing Center in New York.  And then there’s the Food Hotel which we’ve written about before. What does this all mean to marketers? Capturing the imagination and interest of these young foodies can create indelible memories that can translate into a devoted customer-to-be.


Blogpost by Karen Weiner Escalera, President and Chief Strategist

Trends in Travel Public Relations

I was recently a panelist on “The Changing Face of PR” at the ATME Conference (Association of Travel Marketing Executives) in Miami last month. With social media, depleted editorial staffs in the nation’s leading newspapers, declining viewership in network TV, and the “consumer terrorism” of online reviews, what does all of this mean for the PR industry today? My topic, ‘Top Three Must Do’s in PR’ in today’s world helps PR Pros tackle these issues:

1. Produce Quality, Quantity and Diverse Content

–        The good news? There are abundant distribution channels that exist today to get your message out. But you must be present across the consumer’s behavioral path, because each is a potential contact point and integrating these marketing channels can provide a comprehensive approach.

The 3 P’s of traditional PR content are still valid – product, packages, and promotions. But now we need to think beyond these and create content that addresses the psychographics of your target markets, e.g. their special interests and passions. Think not only in niche terms, but micro-niche.

–        A growth area for content is service articles, traditionally the staple of B2B programs. There are endless opportunities, e.g. articles on tips, how-to’s (look at’s success), and top 10 lists via slideshows which the media love, as well as copy.

–        Content that shows thought leadership and innovation to establish clients as an industry authority, a source for the media. Admittedly it’s a process, but once you achieve this, it’s the gift keeps on giving. Surveys, audits, research are all effective platforms to launch this approach.

2. Customize Your Message to Your Audience, to the Medium

What hasn’t changed in decades is being relevant to the media you’re addressing, using targeted, customized pitches and lists.

–        In a PR GENIE survey of journalists in 26 countries, the #1 complaint (59.5%) with PR is irrelevant PR pitches. That’s up 2.5% just in one year.

–        The #2 complaint (new this year) is mass PR pitching over social media. Messages need to be further refined for each social media channel, as people want different things from Twitter and Facebook, which are still different from Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram.

3. Build Relationships with Media; Make It Easy For Them to Experience Your Product

–        Nothing can replace face-to-face meetings and press visits, which remain powerful PR tools. Such interaction helps keep you top of mind when looking for their next source.

–        Following and friending media and other influencers on social media offer insight into their personality, their interests, their travels, stories they may be working on, and plant story ideas. In the same PR GENIE survey, 59% of journalists say they follow and friend PR professionals on social media. 70% have used twitter to post a question to get public reaction and used replies as a part of a story; 62% have done so on Facebook.

–        Also facilitate  relationships with  the product itself. Brand managers are rethinking the traditional presentation of their products and finding other ways to reach out such as pop ups – shops, restaurants, hotels – which celebrate the essence of a brand for a targeted audience or timeframe. Low budget alternatives are DIY packages to create the experience at home.

The following is an expanded version of this speech, which includes industry examples for each topic.

Blogpost by Karen Weiner Escalera, President & Chief Strategist

An Intern Experience at KWE Partners

My Internship Experience at KWE Partners


Can virtual luxury goods bring real profits?

While it may sound odd to buy virtual merchandise – whether it be buying a few outfits, shoes, jewelry or getting your nails done – these are among a plethora virtual merchandise that one will never hold in their hand. To proponents, the beauty of such low cost purchases is that they are inexpensive entertainment, and work the same magic as a $30 game, a movie or a salon treatment.


The future of the hotel industry

KWE group’s President & Chief Strategist, Karen Weiner Escalera, was recently interviewed by Hotel Vikas, a magazine for the American hospitality industry. In the interview, Karen highlights steps to help hoteliers in today’s challenging economy, the importance of value even to the affluent, rethinking strategic market/product positioning, and where the hotel industry is headed. We invite you to read the interview in its entirety to learn more.


Art is Going to the Dogs

How’s this for a nifty twist on an art theme and opening? This week I received an invitation entitled “Come with Your Dog to See Dog Art” from my friend and colleague of many years, Susan Kelley. Susan and her husband Bill Roy own a top advertising agency in Miami and made a part of their office space into an art gallery, the Kelley + Roy Gallery.


Preferred turndown gifts and amenities

A local gift followed by food and beverage items rank at the top of the list of preferred turndown amenities and services by guests according to a recent survey by The Leading Hotels of the World and Market Metrix.


Magazine publishing for everyone and every niche

The web has replaced the news element of magazines and the way news is delivered keeps getting more and more personal. Micro niche blogs, RSS feeds, and personalized Google homepages help us focus on/filter what we care about and tune out the rest. This is coupled with changing consumer tastes – they are more individualized than ever, and expect to have their unique interests addressed.