The InterContinental Hotel Group released its 2016 trends report at this year’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The report, titled: ‘Meaningful Membership: Transforming Membership in The Age of I’, challenges brands to engage with consumers in a way that builds membership communities.
Fuelled by the growth of social media channels, there is increasing demand from consumers to belong to a like-minded community, sharing opinions and insight as they connect around their experience of a brand. In doing so they also want to maintain their individuality, amounting to what is being termed the ‘The Age of I’ – a desire from consumers to maximise both inclusiveness and individuality.
The trends report also highlights how brands can manage these challenges and to build membership communities brands need to recognise the universal need of the community through personalisation, what resonates with individual members – their likes and dislikes, what they need and when they need it.
Commenting on the newly released report, Pascal Gauvin, COO for India, Middle East and Africa at IHG, said: “In an increasingly competitive and diversified Middle East hospitality market, it is more important than ever for brands to have a bigger purpose; to share cultural values with their customers and to deliver on their promises. We have learned this first hand in the Middle East as IHG’s growth remains stronger and we seek to deepen our own brands’ presence.”
Additional imporant factors the report include key findings in the report include, that there is a big difference between ‘signing in’ and ‘signing on’. Where signing in is a behaviour, anyone can register or enroll. Signing on creates pride of belonging to the membership community. people do not just want to log in. They want to link up. they want a relationship.
Belonging is a universal need: Members of Membership Communities want to belong to a group that has a bigger purpose. Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives allow members to connect with important issues.