IV. Hotels… Let the music play ?

My urban flat produces some extra-euros, as if it were an hotel room where clients may as well work, co-work, conduct business meetings. As do hotels. Aren’t we spending most of our working time in our flat, co-working spaces, hotels ?

At the feet of my urban office stands a co-living place where people gather and have a drink, work, co-work, share, use the services of a conciergerie, etc. Sometimes, a market place in the grand lobby, with food events.

Where experience primes, surface has a monetizable use, new money from volumes that used to stand unprofitable. This modularity challenges the urbanistic affectation, but not only. Looming sensors, facial recognition tools, pull and carry some social model disruptions (scoring and social credit), and stir some collective push for more data protection (RGPD in Europe).

So, the point is to wonder whether we are not entering into :

1. Interacting service plaforms, collecting and addressing datas, where brands cross-sell through enhanced partnerships,

2. Clusters (clients hyper segmentation),

Met in spaces falling obviously standardized, as real estate prices in the megacities call upon modularity.


1. the old days corporate hotel (with its lot of dark meeting rooms, bland functional 200 square feet rooms above),

2. could well be converted into some new office-services building (and reciprocally), with modularity, adequate spared & vacant volumes, heavy 3D use, and convenient on site array of services,

3. So that be on-demand converted into what-you-need (ex: this morning a 5 offices + an adjacent meeting room, tonight an extended Suite), and occur a real enhanced experience (anticipated by adequate predictive modelling based on your past reservations and your social cluster’s preferences).

This new “social places where people can meet and dine and have a local experience” is the most astute marketing recreation of what a restaurant or a bar used to be for generations, but was lost with those good-old days corporate hotels where the deserted canteen/cafeteria-like outlets hosted the very few, reluctant at asking for uninspiring room-service (when any). Welcome back to the augmented saloon !!

But Boutique and high-end luxury hotels shall go on separately, and should prosper and form a growing niche, as long as service, deco and unique locations, prevail on what tech has best to offer. Not that they be the only ones which really attend their clients’ needs. If datas mean knowledge, very few can really pretend : their acquisitions have not been, for years, qualifying.

But they will at least always charm faithful worshippers for their exceptional business model, that requires engagement, and passion. The kind of lovingkindness that flies away from mobility, modularity, and hates hasty minutes and passing theories.

Yan Vacher

II. Hotels and their rare earth

Then, AIRBNB innovated with its genious experiences platform.

With their recent partnership, MANDARIN ORIENTAL and ABERCROMBIE & KENT are truly disruptive ; it witnesses how deep hospitality is sustaining its reshaping.

Hotel chains are selling their expertise to independent hotels (suppliers contracting for instance.). Tomorrow, challenging the OTAs (BOOKING, EXPEDIA,…), they will bookmark their inventory and prices, as does AMAZON which carries competing offers from small retailers online. The production of experiential marketing programs, which implies to acquire know-how in data learning, travel logistics, event programming, design, etc., should bridge together hotel sales & marketing departments and travel agents, delivering further partnerships, and buy-outs. See the lead investment in LYRICS (apartment design for travelers) just performed by AIRBNB.

What’s next for the independents (46% of the existing 18 million hotels) ? Under the claws of the BOOKINGs, those thousands of often badly bookmarked Hotels rush to be part of thematic platforms. But, as those hotels never divested their (rough) datas first, most of those platforms lack of the key common social ingredient delivering the right organic scale.

At this point, let me commend GRAND LUXURY HOTELS, and WINE PATHS. Their datas are ‘genetically’ qualified, and they drive a tremendous potential events program, as they interfere with third industries playing around the same social segments. So far, their social model matches with what SPRING PLACE, or ASSEMBLAGE are delivering, co-working & living clubs hosting upscale social events, in modular places where members network – AIRBNB has just participated in a $75m Series C funding round  in the female-focused co-working startup THE WING.

There are thousands of extraordinary beaches, but online, will outshine those bridging together people of a same given social cluster ; tomorrow a garage in KREUZBERG (GE), elsewhere afterwards, provided they be experiential, i.e where had been gathering influencers who exhibited their feed ; hashtags drive billions of datas sprinkling clouds foreboding displays of unfilled alterity, ubiquity, as well as business tips.

As gene therapy treats thousands of computerized variations of a single pathology with individualised solutions (the patient’s genitical code)(once addressed by a mass-treatment fixing most of the deseases), datas feed an hyper-segmented social matrix as tech is speeding up the production of plugs and sensors (household appliances, eyeglasses, smartphones, cars, etc.).

Computing power gives birth to a Brand proliferation, the Bland-ing (vs Brand-ing) referring as well as :

1. they be visible if only relevant (one brand/ one social cluster)

2. to their relative withdrawal, as the focus is on getting the client engaged emotionally first. Will mankind be the ultimate connector of all, subduing alterity for consumerism ? ( China, with their social credit program)

Tomorrow morning, datas could well feed the production of experiences 2.0. Virtuality, places once for gaming, should become territories of choice for the Brands, as our avatar (superego ?) will supersede. On the planet of my social cluster, I will buy real books, experiment what the promised travel experience should eventually deliver.

Yan Vacher