Monday, July 11, 2005

Put the emotion into selling dreams

Orbitz have done a deal to offer online travelers in the States a Harley Davidson for the weekend when they book a package online. Talk about selling dreams- this is the real utilisation of brand. Harley have long recognised that core to their brand are suited yuppies who like to pretend that at the weekend they are wild at heart. Thus the deal with Orbitz is a natural added value for both.

As lifestyle and travel become increasingly blurred, UK travel providers, be they agents, online agents or operators must look to deliver this type of customer experience.

Tescos did something similar about 3 years ago. They significantly boosted the sale of promotional beer lines on Fridays through locating them next to the nappy aisle. Why did this work? Dad's who'd been sent out to get nappies ready for a weekend with the newly-arrived family thought 'bugger this, I'll have a few beers'.

What lies at the heart of both of these examples is good segmentation. We all try and segment customers by sized, value, purchasing pattern- but in today's complex market these are often precisely the wrong metrics. Customers should be segmented by their emotional need- by how they behave- this allows both lifetime value to be maximised, but also the opportunity for tactical spend- as per beer and nappies.

Offline and online travel brands have work to do here- the answer to the customer's need can't always be a brochure, nor can it be a 2 night-pre-packaged online offer.

Accor recently revealed that their peak online booking time is between 9.00 and 11.00 on a Monday morning- crap weekend motivates consumer to use their company network access to book themselves a break to make them feel better- so if this is how consumers behave, lets segment accordingly. Go for commercial/local radio on a Monday morning for a holiday offer- just when people are getting up and most receptive to being sold a dream.

Oh, and chuck in a recycling service for nappies............


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All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such.
We may own, take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any
statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions,
goals, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, object'ives, assumptions or
future events or perfo'rmance are not
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"forward,|ooking statements." forward,|ooking statements are based on expectations,
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Se'ction 17. {b), we disclose the holding of EGTY shares prior to the publication of
this report. Be aware of an inherent conflict of interest resulting from such holdings
due to our intent to profit from the liquidation of these shares. Shar,es may be sold
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