A day at the Aspire Digital Summit
On Monday 29 June I attended the first Aspire Digital Summit. The event, which took place at the Savoy Hotel, was appropriately partnered with Google. With an impressive collection of speakers including the UK and Ireland General Manager of Airbnb, expectations were high.
The event was designed to bridge the gap between the digital world and luxury travel and with fascinating insights and unique perspectives, I certainly left with a lot to reflect on. However, there was one thing that every speaker agreed on; the definition of luxury, particularly in travel, has changed.
Highlights of the day included a thought-provoking talk by Nishma Robb, Head of Marketing at Google who focused on the shift in the consumer’s needs now that the digital world is so advanced. Nishma said that the travel industry has never needed to work harder since this is the most entitled consumer the world has ever seen. She described the typical luxury customer as wanting an ‘on demand, instantly gratifying, decision free lifestyle’.
Another interesting talk came from Robbie Bargh, Creative Director of Gorgeous Group who discussed the different generations of luxury travellers. He argued that the ‘elastics’ generation are being ignored and forgotten when really brands should be focusing on them since they are the generation with the most substantial disposable income.
The day ended with Travolution editor Lee Hayhurst interviewing James McClure, General Manager UK & Ireland, Airbnb. When asked how he now defines luxury, James gave an interesting insight into luxury no longer being about labels and material objects but about the customer wanting to experience ‘money cannot buy moments’. It is these experiences that are becoming ever more important in our PR messaging as media come to share the view posed by James that it’s experience over fancy design.
Altogether, a great day and we’re already eagerly awaiting next year’s summit.