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Is the new breed of traveller too complex for reward schemes?

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20th Feb 2015
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New Collinson Latitude research states travel companies are struggling to come to terms with the rising expectations of customers in the sector, and that a new breed of traveller has evolved as a result of the increasing demands.

Coining them the ‘Grand Wanderluster’ generation, Collison Latitude states that consumers within this new demographic are no longer defined by age or gender but by their behaviours, characteristics and interests; and are united in their high expectations of reward programmes and their desire to travel.

Surveying over 4,000 people worldwide, the research defined Grand Wanderlusters as expecting more choice from travel providers, better communication and more of a multichannel approach to rewards.

41% state they prefer to receive products and services from a travel brand’s own range and 82% of travellers want to choose which categories of rewards they receive, while 51% of consumers want to redeem their rewards online, a fifth (20%) via a mobile device, and a tenth (13%) still prefer to redeem in-store.   

The report identified six personas within their ‘Grand Wanderluster’ demographic:

The Aspirational – the reinvented frequent flyer

·  Characteristics: As reinvented frequent flyers, their revenue potential is high; they care about points and want quick/easy online redemption methods.
·  What to offer them: They hate being bombarded with irrelevant rewards, so use data to find out their hobbies/interests and present them with reward options that fit their lifestyle.

The Balancers – the work-life jugglers

·  Characteristics: As work-life jugglers, they want to get the most for their money, and will likely spend more – on higher value rewards - if these are tailored to their needs.
·  What to offer them: They want to hear from you more, online, with a variety of non-travel related rewards that will help them get the best value.

The Nesters – the family orientated

·   Characteristics: They put family first, so appreciate rewards that will enhance the family environment.
·   What to offer them: They said they don't hear from you often enough, so increase communication. Offer online redemption and rewards that will improve the regular family holiday.

The Safeguarders – the high earners

·   Characteristics: They have a larger disposable income than most and prefer to communicate directly with brands; by phone or face-to-face.
·   What to offer them: Offer rewards that match the diversity of activities they enjoy and reach out to them through traditional methods – they want to hear from you.

The On-demanders – the career orientated

·   Characteristics: These career-orientated smartphone fanatics need instant gratification and quick/easily accessible reward and redemption options.
·   What to offer them: They aren’t willing to wait, so make your reward programme device-friendly and let them choose their own reward categories, including luxury offers from premium brands.

The Individualists – the free-thinkers

·   Characteristics: Brands rarely target them, so they are sceptical and disinterested in rewards.
·   What to offer them: Start up regular communication, give them more ways to earn and redeem – once they are on-board they will be a valuable and active member of your rewards programme.

“The current accessibility and mass availability of travel means that traditional demographic-based approaches to audience segmentation are a thing of the past,” said James Berry, ecommerce director at Collinson Latitude

“Travel brands need to reinvent how they engage with the [this demographic] or risk losing them to the competition.”

Berry recently told MyCustomer.com that the failure of reward programmes were one of the biggest issues affecting customer experience and loyalty in the travel and hospitality sector, and that travel providers needed to do more to “keep pace with today’s on-demand consumer”.

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