Multi-Generational Hotel Branding: Investigating Brand Equity in Millennial-Friendly Hotels

Date

2017-12-14

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Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the perceptions of Baby Boomers, Generations X, Y, and Z hotel guests towards Millennial-friendly Hotel Brands (MHB). The hotel industry has begun to target this generation of consumers because of their significance in the market. In the past few years, hotel marketing strategies have primarily focused on targeting generational groups based on buying power, and the population size of these groups, as well as intentions to stay at certain brands. Previous literature has focused on the differences among generational groups as employees in the hospitality industry, rather than as consumers. Recently, hoteliers are implementing marketing strategies, which shift the focus from the earlier generations, Baby Boomers, unto targeting and accommodating the largest generation group, the “Millennials” or Generation Y. This study contributes to the gap in the lack of research related to generational preferences, while assessing brand equity constructs: brand image, brand awareness, perceived value, and brand loyalty towards intentions to stay at an MHB.
The study’s questionnaire comprised of responses relative to MHBs’ image, awareness, value, loyalty, and intent to stay. Results from descriptive statistical analyses and hypotheses tests were determined, and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and model fits were calculated using SPSS and AMOS. The results from this study specify the differences between the Baby Boomers and the three other generations, as brand awareness of MHBs was the only construct without any effect on intent to stay. Specific attributes of MHBs were tested for relevancy among the generations. Recommendations include the impetus for branding research in the theoretical and practical segments of the hospitality industry, and also managerial implications concerning targeting specific consumer demands. Finally, this study provides the travel and tourism industry with an accurate and in-depth prediction of generational brand and attribute preferences towards MHBs.

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Keywords

Millennial-friendly hotel brand, Brand equity, Millennials

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