How immersive ethnography drove $1M of bookings to a luxury homestay startup.

A luxury, home-sharing company wanted to realign their brand proposition and attract the hyper-affluent, US female traveller who they had identified as a key audience to drive business growth. The Band Consultancy was brought in to understand the female traveller lifestyle and key purchase drivers when browsing for domestic and international holiday accommodation to inform marketing and product strategy in the organization.

Respondent Scouting — How do you recruit the top 1% income earners with an affinity for global travel?
 No screener. No database. No algorithm. 100% Human conversation.

Our recruiting strategy was to reach the inspirational designed persona of only 6 women in various life stages that grossed at least 2 million in income. Targeted regions and personal networks, open dialogue conversations about travel, a flexible agenda, and a buy in to help create a successful business strategy (co-creation mindset) were all key elements to driving engagement for a successful highly specific recruit.
 
 Meeting with our hyper-affluent travellers in their homes, we gained a much better context of not only understand their travel behaviors, but also their lifestyle, including their media consumption and attitudes towards service. We delivered to the client a recommendation-led insight report alongside a tour documentary bringing to life the ethnographic research journey.
 
 The insight story — It is not just about saying you are “luxury”
 The hyper-affluent US-based female traveler has a different relationship with travel: luxury travel is a normal part of her lifestyle, not a luxury per se. However, the requirement for a high degree of control was common; wanting a travel experience that is highly customizable and enables her to curate an itinerary that compliments her personal lifestyle and family aspirations (the combination of the right neighborhood, the right home and a match in terms of personal style). We recommended that the brand should work hard to counteract the negative perceptions of the ‘homestay’ by being upfront about the hotel-like aspects of the proposition and targeting properties in trusted neighborhoods that have clearly understood lifestyle connotations.
 
 The amazing results — The why? is in the ROI.
 Based on our service insights and recommendations, a series of changes were made to the homepage plus several other landing pages. As a result, visitors now spend an average of 13 seconds longer on the homepage, the bounce rate has reduced by 2%, they are more likely to perform a search, and most importantly the increase of incremental bookings is estimated at $1,000,000+ a year.