Personalisation is key. In an increasingly competitive market, the luxury travel sector is becoming much more targeted to entice the super-rich directly. The demanding ultra-high net worth client is looking for status recognition, bespoke service and, importantly, the ability to make relationships with key figures in the hotel or resort.
Luxury brand partnerships or leading charity collaborations are a key way to target this extremely affluent set, enabling the UHNW to discover the hotel or company, to test it, to make it more tangible so that these clients can make informed choices when planning their future trips. ‘Opening up’ the product in such a competitive market requires strong and bold decisions to stand out from the crowd. All of this should be done with the utmost discretion. Leading hotel brands should offer cultural, educational, experiential group visits to the properties. On one hand, it allows the brand to demonstrate just how ‘clever’ they can be and, in-turn, show how they understand the lifestyle of a UHNW. Lastly, it tells the UHNW they understand the status of the client, promoting mutual respect.
Brand loyalty is hard won. Nurturing friendships with the general managers creates this loyalty. By creating special curated experiences for the clients during these visits the UHNW start to see the brand’s outreach and access to sophisticated and cultural based partnerships that elevate further the hotel’s positioning. In addition, the UHNW gets to see the full range of experiences the brand can offer to further enhance their experience.
Hoteliers should look for experiences around art fairs, exclusive insights into the making of aligned luxury brands, exclusive first collections, leading cultural institutions, private dinners in exclusive locations, opening up parts of a city rarely experienced by the visitor.
Hotels need to effectively separate their product from the alternatives, create meaningful relationships with the senior team and highlight the access and additional services that they can provide to this most discerning of clientele. In addition, having a consistent philanthropic angle to enable them to win new business and to provide the brand with further gravitas with the client, is essential.
Helping these brands to unlock their individuality and ability to make bespoke offerings is the key to success for hotels and resorts in the 21st Century. Direct engagement with potential future clients, in a personalised manner, extending complimentary invitations to key UHNWs enables meaningful interaction and the ability to ‘spread the word’ from the key influencers in any UHNW demographic they are targeting. Unlocking that potential and devising trips to showcase the unique abilities of these properties is the best way to inform the client, win new business and, most importantly, stay ahead!
Julian Farrow is an art, luxury and lifestyle advisor who works across these sectors and, in particular, with leading hotels and resorts. In addition, Julian founded his own social club for the UHNW to learn and discover new products and services focussed on this important demographic.