Of the leading ‘Experience Brands’ featured in Group XP’s study quantifying the financial value of exceptional, 360º brand experience, one major industry is a surprising ‘no show’ on GXP’s Top 30 list: hospitality.
The irony, of course, is that few brands literally own their customers’ total experience for extended periods of time as completely as hotels and resorts do. Yet no hotel brand has made GXP’s Experience Index’s Top 30 list since its initial report in 2016.
So we followed the thread to e-context, the world’s largest general semantic text classification engine. E-context was asked to comprehensively scour the digital landscape for conversations on hospitality and the major hospitality brands. The most prominent results: “Rewards,” “Rates” and “Coupons,” a sure sign of commoditization.
Perhaps Simmons Research offered the most succinct and revealing statistic of all: Domestic U.S. respondents who stayed in a hotel this past year indexed at a virtually flat 102 when it came to choosing brand vs. price. That’s the statistical equivalent of “meh.”
What’s up with that?
In today’s “age of experience,” the holy grail for brands worldwide is to identify and mine the emotional/rational connection that links customers to their products, services and shareholders — and to do it effectively across an ever-expanding array of experiential touchpoints.
Why have the great global hotel brands failed to master this objective?
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