Brands Tap Into Wanderlust To Build and Cement Relationships
For many brands, it’s obvious that it’s time to hit the road. Study after study points to the fact that large groups of consumers – particularly those of Gen Z and younger — seek experiences as an alternative to accumulating more possessions.
The urge for wanderlust – and companies’ desire to feed it – are reflected in all corners of the marketing world. It might be something as simple as referring to those bins at drug chains as stocking travel sizes; not that long ago, they were “sample sizes.”
NPD’s Beth Goldstein showed The Accessory Council yesterday how travel is a recurring theme in ads for bags, footwear and a wide array of other goods. She noted that luggage was strong seller this past holiday season, and that intangible gifts such as travel and tickets “likely took share from tangible products.”
Add that to the hypercompetition for retail shelf space, and it’s no surprise that the number of brands looking to give consumers a chance to “live the brand” continues to mount.
More media brands hit the road
For example, tour operator Academic Travel Abroad (ATA) is taking Hearst’s lifestyle magazine Veranda on its first excursion into licensing with a seven-day “Parisian Discoveries: A Field Trip with Veranda” in October. Its 20 spots sold out shortly after reservations started in December.
ATA also just licensed the online travel and entertainment website Thrillist, and is readying eight-day and five-day sojourns this fall to Marrakech, Morocco and to Oaxaca, Mexico.
These deals join a long list of travel alliances. The business models vary; in some cases, they’re licenses, in others they’re some other form of vendor agreements or ”alliances” such as National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions.
And they’re not limited to media companies. For example, Life is Good travel licensee Austin Adventures also has fielded Reebok-branded trips. What they have in common is that all are aimed at tightening the bond between fans and brands with the kinds of experiences that are increasingly critical to creating and cementing brand loyalty.
And, says ATA EVP Chase Poffenberger, it “allows brands to reach consumers with experiences that don’t require retail locations or taking on inventory costs.”