15 Nov Generation Z
In this three-part blog series I will look forward, to Generation Z, exploring their habits, must-haves and how we can design the hotel of the future.
When it comes to designing spaces, we all agree that the user experience is our guiding light. Nothing feels better than creating a positive and lasting impression on our guests and clients alike. Following this, our next design focus is often influenced by trends, whether this be new colour combinations, technological developments or an up-and-coming target audience. Enter… Generation Z. Often described as the post-millennial, internet generation, this latest demographic includes all people born between 1995-2015.
Currently aged between 4-24 years old, you are probably asking yourselves why do we need to consider such young radiance when we come to evaluate our next hotel development?
Statistics show us that by 2025, Gen Z will have an overall 50% purchase power in the US alone, making them increasingly influential customers whether it be via their own independence or by influencing parents’ decisions. More often than not, this happens when choosing a holiday. As we are in the business of creating unique, design-led destinations, it is important that we acknowledge Gen Z and explore what we can learn from their habits.
Starting with the obvious, the main influence on Generation Z is technology and social media. They were born with it. More than half of this group were born after Facebook was founded, and many have made the most of the social media boom by playing out their entire lives online. From posting every thought, capturing every situation or watching vloggers share the latest must-have, social media platforms are shaping how we interact, spend, feel and live. We can even stretch this further to say that they have a digital DNA – one that is developed parallel to their day to day lives. If my generation will consider writing a journal, Gen Z’s journal is following them in a digital format and is as extensive as they wish. With that in mind, I think that it is common for people to post digital evidence of an experience, before they actually go through the experience, as online is where their real world is. How, then, do we create an experience that is not only ‘instagrammable’ but captivating and authentic?
The first step of the guest experience is no longer the arrival or lobby design, but online. As Gen Z are famously inquisitive, you can be assured that they will scope out your online presence before they hit that ‘reserve’ button. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure that your online image matches your real story, making the integrity of your product clear. Strong branding will help to create a backstory, while being true to your hotel experience will help you to be seen as an authentic and genuine destination – a key requirement for Gen Z. Looking to images, gone are the days where impeccable room shots reign supreme. Today’s guest wants to see themselves in the setting, something that looks lived-in but still luxury. Taking it one step further is Moxy with it’s collaborative social media feed online, allowing guests, influencers, anybody, to contribute to the story of Moxy. People could upload any photograph relevant to their Moxy experience, and if they used the right hashtag / tags, it would be shared. Not only does this offer a platform for co-creation and guest collaboration, but acts as great digital marketing.
This idea of collaboration is simple yet effective, and in part two I will look at how we can take co-creation to the next level, as well as technology in design, branding and how to engage.