IHG has just published a report entitled ‘Trust Capital’ which highlights the importance of hotel brands building ‘trust’ in their brand. They identify it as the ‘4th C’ of organisational value - alongside Human, Financial and Intellectual Capital.
IHG highlight what they believe is an erosion of trust in public and private sector institutions. Their report unveils a blueprint that organisations can follow to rebuild trust with different demographics and across different geographies. The report is the result of a three year study involving nearly 40,000 interviews and provides some interesting insights into our rapidly changing world.
One key trend is that consumers are getting older and younger all at the same time but not in all the same places. The study took a large group of Boomers (defined as those born between 1946 and 1964) and a large group of Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000).
These two groups have very different mind-sets, world-views, different desires when travelling, and different approaches to brands and trust. IHG believe that successful hotel brands must manage the sometimes conflicting needs of both of these groups at the same time.
For example: research has shown that:
Millennials prefer close, experiential relationships with brands whereas Boomers look for brand relationships that go smoothly, with no hitches or glitches.
Millennials are more apt to be ‘invisible travellers’ than Boomers – in that they can travel without caring for people-enabled contact. 67% of Boomers say they would prefer to call a hotel and speak with ‘real’ people for information, versus 56% of Millennials.
Millennials will look for places that have family-centric activities where their children will be well taken care of and will have fun. Boomers prefer everyone to be together in a multi-generational way.
The report argues that the changing nature of the family is also impacting on how the consumer builds trust.
IHG conclude their report with a suggested seven-point blueprint for generating Trust Capital - a list which highlights the importance of distinguishing repeat behaviour from real brand loyalty.