Generation Z are set to represent 40% of all consumer spending by 2020 – that’s less than a year away. If your customer personas are still wearing last night’s clothes, then you need to strip back and start understanding what your future customer is going to look like, before you miss out.
Why does it matter?
It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of today, that tomorrow can wait. But your future customers aren’t waiting; they’re growing up, earning money and looking to spend it on travel and leisure. Knowing what your future customer looks like ensures that this money is spent with you by:
- Fostering loyalty from an early stage;
- Satisfying their motivators and needs;
- Identifying areas for growth; and
- Staying ahead of your competition.
This is even more important in the travel and leisure industry where the customer journey, motivators and values differ greatly between generations.
Who are your future customers
Today, the two most influential future customers of tomorrow are Millennials and Generation Z. Let’s take a quick peek at what they look like now and how this influences your future.
You’ll be aware of and (hopefully) marketing to Millennials already, but thanks to their obsession with all things health, fitness and protein-related, they’ll be sticking around for a while. What do they look like and what will they want?
- Millennials have experienced life both with and without advanced technology, meaning that they’re incredibly receptive to change. Going forward they’ll crave new experiences, destinations and technology – looking for leisure brands who offer them all.
- Having existed before and after the internet, Millennials enjoy the option of dipping in and out of technology. They will favour brands who offer a choice of online, mobile and in-person communication methods and will seek out travel experiences that either immerses them further in this high-tech world or gives them a digital detox from it.
- Whether it’s Instagram, review sites or WhatsApp, Millennials like sharing and communicating. This translates to brand engagement, with Millennials preferring campaigns and experiences that encourage collaboration and communication.
- Bearing the brunt of the economic crisis Millennials have had it tough getting jobs and buying houses. This means they’re more considerate of what they spend their money on and who they spend it with – opting for brands who resonate with their beliefs and spending money on unique experiences and getaways.
The more future of your future customers is Generation Z – those born between 1995 and 2012, and those just coming into financial independence. What do they look like and what will they want?
- Having never experienced life without the internet, they are at one with technology. This means that they’ll expect all the latest gadgets to view, book and experience travel at any time and any place. And, being accustom to responsive and intuitive tech, they’ll expect travel and leisure brands to already anticipate, understand and meet their needs.
- With a short attention span, thanks to social media scrolling and advert skipping, Gen Zs will only interact with brands who capture their attention quickly and in the right places – necessitating the need for you to use multiple channels and to really understand your customers’ habits, likes and dislikes.
- Despite preferring a caramel latte over a vodka and lime, Gen Zs are incredibly sociable and care deeply about relationships. They’ll prefer communicating with leisure brands in places where conversations can develop and connections can be made, and they’ll be searching for experiences that offer the same.
- Finally, their dedication to equality, fairness and honesty will see them favouring companies who mirror their beliefs – being less concerned about price and more motivated by sustainable travel, honest practices and personalised experiences.
While it can be terrifying to think of a customer who doesn’t know what a disposable camera is and has never experienced the pains of dial-up – it’s necessary. Your future customer is new, different and exciting – and they hold your future in their hands.