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Millennials seem to be the butt end of every joke nowadays. Most recently, I read that it is millennials “fault” for the downfall of canned tuna. I don’t know, maybe its just gross and disgusting? Just a thought…
Travel brands have made their rounds marketing towards millennials. Hilton recently introduced their new quasi hostel brand, Motto, which aims toward a younger travel that is looking for simplicity to battle back against AirBnB. I am a fan of Motto as it isn’t for millennials specifically, but rather a different hotel experience. Marriott has also established their own hotel brand for young avocado toast lovers as well called Moxy. To me, I’m unimpressed with Moxy from afar. I’ve never been inside one for what it is worth, but the website just seems extremely cheesy and not reflective of many millennial travelers. But hey, if it’s a good deal using my Marriott points, I’m all for it!
Recently, news broke that Air France’s airline catered to millennials, Joon, is going to be closing operations and absorbing the assets back into Air France. Joon was an airline that was branded for millennial passengers with casual flight attendant dress code and a large selection of drinks. Joon had pretty low fares, starting from 49 Euros (~$56), but everything on board was an extra charge, including in-flight entertainment and checked bags. In my eyes, Joon was just another low cost carrier with different makeup.
I’m glad Joon failed. Companies shouldn’t be marketing toward one generation. Why is that? Eventually, that generation will die off – then what?
In my eyes, travel and hospitality as an entire sector is missing the mark. Brands shouldn’t be marketing toward one generation, they should be reaching out to an always changing traveler.
Coming from the perspective of a 25 year old traveler, here are the 3 things that all travelers are looking for, not just those darn millennials.
In an age of incredible technological advances, there is no reason for things to ever come close to being a hassle. A perfect example of this is what Delta is doing at the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport with facial recognition for travel. If you are traveling internationally, there is no need to dig through your bag for your ID. This is a ways away from full scale production across major airports, but anything to reduce hassle will naturally attract more people.
Money is always something people are looking to save, regardless of age. Especially for millennials, this is critical for traveling. Millennials aren’t wealthly, but they are willing to spend the few dollars they have on experiences like travel. This is how AirBnB went from a small New York apartment rental to a $30 billion company.
Every single business is battling for our business which in the end drives down prices. And with this fancy thing called the Internet, there is full transparency for all of us consumers!
We are in a hyper-connected world. Regardless if you are a super active or an infrequent news reader, we see and hear everything. When you hear news like Marriott getting hacked and exposing the private information of 500 million customers, or Uber having numerous lawsuits regarding sexual harassment in their workplaces, it does affect who you decide to spend your money and time with.
These brands can no longer hide if they are doing things they shouldn’t. Consumers see everything.
Times have changed, and so have travelers. However, marketing towards one generation of travelers shows weakness in planning for the long future. Millennials will eventually die off, and then brands will be left with a product with no market. If travel brands really want to play the long game, they will continue to innovate as consumer demand changes.
For what it’s worth, I love American cheese, no comment on Hooters, mayo is gross, kitchens are cool, and I’m the oldest so the jury is out on middle children.
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