Rich media, social media and consumer generated content are big areas of opportunity for travel and destination marketers. Instinctively and anecdotally, we know that videos, photos and first hand stories and reviews are the best way to sell an experience.
That’s because travel is about getting out and experiencing the world, be it something new and adventurous or familiar and comfortable. We endure long plane rides, arduous mountain passes, or bumpy camel treks through the sahara night snapping photos, creating stories, sharing experiences with friends and loved ones that build lasting memories.
Those memories last a lot longer than the shoes you were wearing, the camera you bought to capture it all and even the trinkets you bring back to commemorate it.
“it turns out that one of the best things people can do is invest in experiences rather than in material things,” says Elizabeth Dunn, assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in an Interview on NPR with Liane Hansen. “So it may be better to treat yourself to an exciting concert or a little weekend getaway than to remodel your home.”
The reason, Dunn says, is that, “we adapt to things very, very quickly – much faster than most people realize.” With a purchase, that adaptation nullifies the objects value, wile adapting to an experience makes it part of you. Dollar for dollar, that ends up having a better ROI on a personal level in terms of happiness.
It’s no wonder people seek out the content that brings experiences to life for them when researching and planning travel. Engaging consumers, providing simple and easy ways for them to share their stories as so many travel and destination brands and marketers are doing can have a significant impact on the perceived value of the experience.
Are you using the value of experience to elevate the value of your brand? Have you seen a great campaign that drew you in? We’ll surely be seeing a lot more in the near future.