The success of Hilton Lounge acquiring a substantial customer base that can drive towards the growth and profitability depends on the segmentation of the potential customers. The lounge should target on those customers whose values align with the business infrastructure and perhaps with business capability to satisfy them (Sandhusen, 2008).
In as much as the lounge is targeting the most appropriate customers, the specific segments should add to the wellbeing of the hotel’s long-term business. Therefore, by evaluating the majority of Hilton Lounge guest clientele, we identify three important segments: sociable, young interpersonal business traveler; focused, interpersonal business traveler; and networking business traveler (Tripadvisor.com, 2011).
Sociable, young interpersonal business travelers are the upcoming business travelers ranging from 20 to 30 years of age. These travelers are not entrepreneurs or executives, but expatriates sent by their companies for short-term assignments. At their youthful age, they see the expatriation as an opportunity to accomplish business missions as well as have the fun they have longed for all through their college life.
Therefore, the first value for this segment is comfort. These young travelers want to experience the comfort worth businessmen as well as vacationers. It is apparent that the segment is transiting from student life to real business life. Most of them want a comfortable atmosphere in which they can intermingle and socialize with others.
Another value is social connectivity: many young business travelers are sent on missions that do not require much of individual input such as analysis and evaluations. Therefore, business-related activities are limited and most of the time spent in the longue is used for socialization.
For instance, like any other young people, these travelers will require internet connectivity to explore and identify the areas they can visit as well as chatting with their friends back home. Finally, affordability is an important value to young travelers. Besides what the company provides, these travelers have very little to spend during their stay in the hotel. They would rather stay in a hotel that offers the services they consider important for free or at a subsidized price, rather than a hotel that offers the greatest prestige at a higher cost.
Focused, interpersonal business travelers refer to the middle-aged travelers who have been in the business for a longer period of time. Unlike young interpersonal travelers, this segment consists of entrepreneurs or expatriates who have been sent a second or a third time to the city for assignments of higher responsibilities. Beside business matters such as promotion and profitability, this traveler has a family to think about.
Therefore, the first value is convenience: these travelers want to balance work and family roles conveniently. They would love a business-like environment where they can carry on with their business tasks and probably finish quickly and go back to their families. Many Focused, interpersonal business travelers are sent on missions that do require much of individual input such as analysis and evaluations.
Speed is thus an important value to them and the faster they accomplish their work the better. These people want an environment where the catering services are provided quickly if not immediately after request. Any slow services can lead to the traveler dismissing the entire lounge as a failure.
Additionally, comfort is imperative to these travelers as they are vulnerable to psychological pressures. They would much appreciate an environment where they can interact with other business professional who can understand their pressing needs. They would like an environment where the hotel staffs have substantial knowledge about business issues.
Networking business traveler is probably a business owner, a manager or an executive perhaps between the ages of 35 to 45 years. These are travelers who have been in the city a number of times and think of the business opportunities there. Their main reason to visiting the city is to make businesses acquaintances or check on an existing business or find an important resource.
Hence, the first value is social connectivity or an environment that can help them to identify their targets. They would appreciate a hotel environment that promotes social interaction by including amenities such as bars and common cafeteria. Moreover, convenience is a very important value to network business travelers.
They would like a hotel with meeting rooms available to them any time they wish to discuss business issues with the acquaintances they make during the visit. Furthermore, convenience in transportation is also important for this segment as they wish to make contacts with as many businesses as possible within the city.
By putting a strong emphasis on the values associated with specific segment, Hilton Lounge will not only be attracting customers but enhancing the wellbeing of its long-term business. Satisfying the values for sociable, young interpersonal business travelers is the basis of building a loyal customer base.
These will be the future travelers and once they feel satisfied with their first visit they will opt to book in the hotel again in future. Satisfying the values of focused, interpersonal business travelers ensures that the hotel maximizes profits that can eventually facilitate future growth.
This segment consists of travelers who will visit the city more than three times in a year and can ensure continuous flow of profits. Finally, satisfying the values of networking business travelers is a way of creating competitive advantage through brand equity (Boone & Kurtz, 2011, p.382). With the hotel being associated with key business players, the brand name and image becomes recognized and builds a strong customer attraction.
Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2011). Contemporary Marketing. Florence, KY: Cengage Learning.
Sandhusen, R. L. (2008). Marketing. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series.
Tripadvisor.com. (2011). Business travel forum: Hilton Honors vs Starwood Preferred Guest Clubs. Retrieved from http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12407-k3185462-Hilton_Honors_vs_Starwood_Preferred_Guest_Clubs-Business_Travel.html.