Millennials Want Experiences — Travel, Fashion Brands Partner to Provide

Millennials are willing to pay for experiences and not only welcome marketing, but actively seek it out — as long as brands reward them quickly and handsomely for their loyalty. This is especially true of travel marketing and, as such, travel brands are partnering with fashion retailers more and more to provide those experiences and rewards.

  • The former: Target Marketing reported this in 2016.
  • The latter: Marketers’ resulting evolution came to be recently, reports Fashionista on Aug. 11.

For example, California-based fashion designer Jenni Kayne created a bespoke gift box for Epiphany Hotel suite guests, which includes a bottle of local wine, Grown Alchemist shaving gel, a scented candle (Kayne’s must-have while traveling), a bundle of dried flowers and a gift card/invite to shop at the designer’s Bay Area store, reports Fashionista.

“The synergy between these two industries is nothing new, but it’s become increasingly practiced,” reads Maria Bobila’s Fashionista article, “Why Hospitality and Fashion Are More Intertwined Now Than Ever Before — Hint: It has to do with retail — and a few other factors, too.”

When Marketing About the Travel/Fashion Merge, Note That Luxury Millennials Shun the ‘Retailpocalypse’

Fashionista points out that the luxury traveler is young, hip and not into bargain-basement clothing.
Bobila’s article states:

“Fashion and the right labels attract a certain demographic that hotels want in their properties,” says Alan Phillips, a longtime executive, entrepreneur and overall guru within the hospitality industry.

Marketing messages should emphasize fashion-forward exclusivity and uniqueness. Shopping as a destination is becoming popular with this crowd, and several brands are capitalizing on the trend by partnering with known, but not “traditional,” fashion brands.

A few examples from the Fashionista article are:

  • Maris Collective, launches and operates custom boutiques within luxury hotels.
  • French-Japanese brand Maison Kitsuné opened a boutique within the Euro-centric NoMad Hotel.
  • W Hotels, a longtime partner with the CFDA, appointed Joan Smalls as its first-ever Global Fashion Innovator
  • Rosewood Hotels and Resorts took on Anna Dello Russo as its newest curator
  • IMG announced Dream Downtown Hotel as an official New York Fashion Week venue for international designers
  • Crowne Plaza hired Timo Weiland as Style Director for the Americas

FOMO: Emphasize More Than Shopping in Marketing Messages

The experience of being on the inside of the fashion scene may be irresistible.

Luxury-seeking Millennial travelers may be intrigued to know if designers will be staying at the hotel or, if that’s confidential, if the staff has the inside scoop on fashion industry news. Gramercy Park Hotel employees do, according to Bobila.

In more straightforward ways of being fashion insiders, Millennials interested in a fashion experience may want to attend fashion shows at the hotels, or stay in designer-created suites.
Bobila reports in the Fashionista article:

“In a world where space is commoditizing, it is creativity, how you program, activate and brand your space that drives visitation and loyalty,” says Phillips. “Hotels and fashion are natural allies in this pursuit, looking to identify with and become hubs for specific communities. There’s no end to how they’ll collaborate with one another.”

What do you think, marketers? Is travel and hospitality marketing becoming fashionable and fashion-conscious?
Please respond in the comments section below.

Heather Fletcher is a freelance reporter for Adweek. She covers performance and direct marketing.