How creating an “extreme local” experience has helped one brand win over “seeker” Millennial consumers…
We’re at Millennial 20/20 in London learning from disruptive brands both big and small, who are sharing their stories and insights on winning over Millennial consumers and the trends shaping the next era of commerce.
Included in those innovative-minded speakers is the CEO of Generator Hostels, Fredrik Korallus, who will be sharing his insights on building a cult following for your brand without spending a penny. According to Ypulse’s research, 85% of 18-33-year-olds would rather stay at a hotel that reflects the local culture/design than one that looks the same in every city—and Millennials’ desire for unique experiences is driving investors to put their money into hostels. Forbes reports that hostels are poised to be “one of the biggest travel trends of the next decade,” and more affordable shared spaces that don’t fit the traditional hotel molds have become the accommodation of choice for young consumers, who are looking for authenticity and “photo-worthy opportunities.” Generator Hostels has taken that desire for uniqueness and connection to local culture and made it the core of their brand, providing experiences for Millennial travelers who crave more than a place to stay for the night.
We spoke to Korallus to find out what Generator has done to win over Millennial consumers, and what they’ve learned about this authenticity-drive, sharing-obsessed generation of travelers:
Ypulse: How would you describe the Millennial consumer? What attributes are most important to them?
Frederik Korallus: We call them “seekers”–on a permanent mission of discovery. They explore all aspects of life on their own terms, destinations, culture, art, music, food, drinks, experiences, society. They are on a collective mission of discovery and travel to pursue new, authentic alternative ideas and experiences. Youthful, intelligent and culturally aware, they have a desire to engage with the local culture and to interact socially.
YP: What has your brand done or changed specifically to better appeal to Millennials?
FK: Generator has redefined the traditional concept of a hostel, by offering a disruptive and innovative concept; making the hostel experience relevant to today’s travellers.
We don’t just sell them a bed for the night. Generator offers engaging experiences through its shared accommodation and inclusive social spaces with contemporary bars, cafes, and restaurants that focus on shareable food inspired by local and global street food influences.
We are the first hostel brand to bring an “extreme local” experience to our customers; our hostel teams are connected with local culture, drawing on local art, music, and sourcing of bar & restaurant ingredients.
Our goal is to excite the senses and be innovative with a wide-range of bar & restaurant concepts and ancillaries offerings appealing to in-house guests and the local community.
YP: How has your brand stood out from the competition to capture young consumers’ interest?
FK: We are the first and currently only lifestyle brand operating in this global sector. Few/no others are doing what we do—we have strong, first-mover advantage and market penetration, operating in a large and fragmented market.
We know from our guests that they want authenticity; they want local and they want to share. It is about having the right art, the right music, the right culture, food, drink and social engagement.
The major part of the Generator guest experience relies on the opportunity to meet locals and other like-minded travellers in a casual, upbeat, and stylish environment, often with live DJs, bands, Gen Talks (our very own version of Ted Talks) fashion shows, art exhibits, providing a heightened lifestyle vibe.
FK: They are incredibly well-informed, have strong views and opinions and know what they want. They seek it out and are led by insatiable curiosity. Today’s young consumer has googled everything. They are on a collective mission of discovery and travel to pursue new, authentic alternative ideas and experiences.
Our guests are passionate about travelling; 87% of Millennial hostel travellers consider travel to be “a very important part of their lifestyle.”
They seek more than just a place to stay and prioritize the experience over expensive accommodation: this includes making new connections and exploring local food, fashion, music, and nightlife.
YP: What is the one thing all brands should know about selling to/reaching Millennials and the next generation of consumers?
FK: It is not our place to lecture brands on how to sell and market to Millennials. What works for us are all things digital, all things social, a focus on user-generated content, authenticity and above all honesty.
FREDRIK KORALLUS, CEO OF GENERATOR
Fredrik Korallus is Chief Executive Officer of Generator, the award-winning, experience and design-focused hostel group, where he leads the continued development and growth of the brand including the entry into North America with the opening of the Group’s Miami property in 2017 and further European expansion.
Voted by Fast Company as one of the top 50 Most Innovative Global Companies, Generator provides unique design and experience-led accommodation options located in the most central locations across Europe including Dublin, London, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, Venice, Barcelona, and Paris, with Amsterdam, Stockholm and Rome all having opened in 2016. It has been hailed as the fastest growing hostel brand with 12 current locations totalling over 7,600 beds, set to rise to 14 locations with nearly 8,600 beds with new openings in Madrid and Miami, scheduled for 2017.With over two decades of hospitality experience spanning four continents, Mr. Korallus successfully aligns vision and strategy and has earned a reputation for building a winning culture based on collaboration, accountability and achievement.
A leader within Carlson Rezidor for over twenty years, Mr. Korallus held a variety of strategic, commercial and operational roles, encompassing a number of the Group’s leading brands including Radisson, Park Inn as well as the global introduction of Radisson Blu.
Prior to taking the helm at Generator, Mr. Korallus led the financial turnaround of The Hotel Collection, a portfolio of 21 hotels across the United Kingdom.
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