Skift Take

The Four Seasons is in a fierce competition to attract the increasingly lucrative number of young travelers. So it's touting how its staff have made stays at its hotels unforgettable in an attempt to give it a leg up on its rivals.

The Four Seasons wants to convey how its staff goes above and beyond the call of duty to entertain guests in its Based on a True Stay campaign.

The recently launched campaign, which tells the stories of real guest experiences, is part of its efforts to target travelers currently as young as 11 years old. 

“Across every touchpoint, in person and digitally, consumers want to be personally recognized as a special guest and welcomed like a friend,” said Four Seasons Chief Commercial Officer Marc Speichert, the mastermind behind the company’s marketing efforts.

The Four Seasons used information from surveys with guests as well as conversations with employees to help create Based on a True Stay, which includes videos depicting situations where staff surprised guests. One spot features a hotel employee giving snowballs to a family experiencing snow for the first time while a Four Seasons worker delivers a pony to a young girl in another.

The company sees an enormous opportunity to make inroads among the increasingly lucrative segment of Gen Z travelers. Baby boomers are expected to pass on to their children more than $68 trillion by 2030, one of the largest wealth transfers in U.S. history. So the Four Seasons decided to launch a new marketing strategy that Speichert believes shows how it creates personalized experiences for travelers. He added that will be its approach going forward.

“Looking further to the next 10-20 years … there is an opportunity for brands to capture … the preferences of those generations with newfound wealth,” Spiechert said.

While the company has featured the campaign on Facebook and Instagram, Speichert said it isn’t shunning more traditional forms of media. The Four Seasons has run the campaign in the New York Times, an outlet that he believes has given its marketing efforts a boost.

The Four Seasons is also increasing investments in its website and its app, the latter of which saw a 61 percent increase in downloads from 2021 to 2022.

“The future of luxury will be driven by data and insights and defined by human connection and imagination,” Speichert said.

A video from Four Seasons’ Based on a True Stay campaign


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Tags: four seasons, generation z, hotels, luxury, marketing

Photo credit: An image from Four Seasons' Based on a True Stay campaign that highlights the company's efforts to welcome guests. Four Seasons

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