BrainI love this: “The internet has created a global brain with access to the same information, culture and ideas. Consumers from Boston to Beijing are served by global megabrands (think Apple, IKEA, Airbnb, and Uniqlo). The result? A worldwide convergence in tastes and aspirations.”

So true don’t you think. It reminds me of that line from Life of  Brian when the crowd shouts in unison: “We’re all individuals”.

This observation, dubbed ‘Post Demographic Consumerism‘, is one of six consumer mega-trends identified in a report commissioned by Sabre Hospitality.

“Today’s consumers – free to construct their lifestyles according to their own ideals and tastes – will choose products and services with little regard for traditional demographic conventions.”

The report, conducted by TrendWatching, identified another five mega-trends it says are shaping travel consumers.

1. YOUNIVERSE: A raft of new technologies will allow greater personalisation of travel experiences based on deeper, more authentic, subconscious aspects of a consumers’ personality. For example, hotels will recognise a traveller’s true emotions or needs at a specific time and shape products and experiences around them.

2. HELPFUL: Innovations, products and services that make life more convenient, simpler, easier or more seamless will eternally find favor with consumers. For example, thanks to smartphones, location has become a key customer context leveraged by brands to provide a relevant service. However, anything can be an actionable context, from a customer’s stress level to their lack of recent travel plans, to the emoji they use on Twitter.

…However, brands beware! Consumers don’t need (or want) every brand to be everywhere, all the time. Instead, they’ll embrace brands that use new channels and nuanced contexts to be at the right place, at the right time.

3. HUMAN BRANDS: Consumers want brands with meaning and personality: that are open, honest, generous, have some fun and stand for something. From tailor-made loyalty perks to supporting a shared value. For example ‘two-way transparency’ – primed by the Peer2Peer economy and on-demand services such as Uber – a more two-way review & rating process may be on the rise, subjecting customers to the same reviews we expect for brands. Loyal guests will get rewarded and the minority of travelers who can ruin shared experiences for others are called out!

4. UBITECH: Technology has become ubiquitous, universal and impossible to live without. Consumers continue to crave (and build their lives around) the unparalleled ‘superpowers’ that technology offers them: instant information, seamless convenience, limitless choice and more. In 2016 and beyond, consumers will expect brands to use machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to put truly smart products and services into their pockets, homes, inboxes and more.

5. PRICING PANDEMONIUM: People have always been concerned with price, but thanks to a range of new technologies & services, perceptions of price have become more complex and 2016 consumer attitudes to price will actually become more malleable than ever. What are brands doing? Playfully reframing product offerings as an entirely different product in order to shock consumers into a radically new perspective on – and appreciation of – the value delivered. For example brands – including hotels – will get bolder when reframing their offerings: newsagent candy and crisps (casual purchase, grab quickly) could be re-framed into hotel nights (considered purchase, carefully researched).

Download the report:

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