Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Boutique Budget Hotel: Redefining Luxury Customer Experience

Once upon a time, luxury brands were premium and budget brands were mass-market. Yet as consumers become more demanding, brands are becoming ever more creative in meeting multiple, seemingly irreconcilable customer needs.

The launch of Bloc Hotels is in Birmingham is the latest in a series of such feats. A ‘Boutique Budget’ hotel brand, Bloc has developed a new model based on an in-depth understanding of customers’ behaviour and needs when travelling on a budget (rooms start at £30).
As most short-stay travellers do not unpack and prefer not to eat in their hotels, Bloc has chosen not to offer storage or dining facilities. The resulting savings mean that its hotels can focus on those elements that cue a premium accommodation experience for guests: for example luxury linen, powerful drench showers, state-of-the-art WiFi and HD TVs, and a superb location.

By focusing on the brand touch points that make a real difference to its customers, Bloc is able to provide a luxurious experience in spite of its failure to tick all of the customary ‘luxury hotel’ boxes (with associated price tags). This innovative challenger model has potential to shake up not only the travel industry, but also potentially any luxury product category.

Even if you can’t build your customer experience from the ground up, do you have a full understanding of what’s important to your customers and what isn’t? Focus on the elements that have a real impact on consumers’ perceptions, rather than wasting resources on those that don’t, and you can create a superior experience without an associated increase in cost.

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