Brands seizing the hospitality opportunity

Every month we pick out our favourite stories from three innovative global brands and share our latest agency news.


The world of hospitality is known for its innovation, but something we’ve seen over the course of the last year is the number of out-of-sector brands looking to break into this space.

Entertainment, fashion, food and homeware brands are entering the hospitality industry to target customers in more experiential settings and connect with them in more moments. It’s a way of creating multi-sensory immersive experiences that connect with customers on a deeper, more emotional level.

This month’s Hotlist discusses the global brands taking up the hospitality opportunity.


Leveraging the need for entertainment

The Atari Hotel in the US is every game lover’s paradise. The retro arcade brand has extended its product offering to target a new breed of customers who are looking for an all-inclusive gaming destination.

The hotel incorporates the latest gaming technology to create a modern and relevant experience – including VR and AR games and an e-sports studio which combines to form the ultimate gaming playground for travellers.

Atari isn’t just looking at creating a ripple, but is focused on disrupting the hospitality industry, with its plan to open eight video game themed hotels in the US this year.

The rising growth in the e-gaming market presents strong opportunities for gaming and non-gaming brands to embed entertainment throughout their experiences to create immersive moments that forge stronger connections with a new generation of customers.


Collaborate to enhance the offering

IKEA is at the forefront of innovation as it’s always looking at creating exciting new experiences for its customers. Its new store concept in Vienna Westbahnhof looks to take the brand’s desire to innovate further, creating the ultimate placemaking destination – a one-stop shop for shopping, socialising and resting.

On top of its traditional store offering, IKEA is focused on developing a fully immersive experience by blending hospitality through a partnership with Jo&Joe from Accor. The top levels of the new store are home to the new hostel, with the space containing 345 beds, a restaurant and a rooftop bar to encourage participation and socialising amongst customers.

Bringing the hotel to the store is a win-win for both brands as its drives footfall, dwell time and in turn, revenue. Through partnering with a well-known player in the hospitality industry IKEA is able to establish trust quickly as a hospitality brand.


Hybrid Hospitality

Some brands have looked to combine their current product with the best of what hospitality has to offer – creating a hybrid-retail space that is as much of a hotel as it is a store.

The Audo in Copenhagen have created a connected space, making its hotel a showroom for its products, seamlessly linking its offering with hospitality to create a connected experience for customers. However, The Audo wants to be more than a showroom. It aims to facilitate participation and connection with guests and customers by incorporating social spaces such as the restaurants, café, event spaces and more into the design.

Brands that create multi-sensory emotional experiences with customers have a greater chance of standing out in a competitive retail environment, and we expect more brands to merge their offering with hospitality in order to do this.

Household’s takeout

We’ve seen an increase in retail brands dipping their toes into hospitality and we don’t see this slowing down any time yet. It reflects the ambition of brands wanting to create experiences that connect with customers on an emotive level, in turn forming deeper relationships and fundamentally increasing participation.

If you’re interested in hearing more about where the future of hospitality is going in 2020, get in touch with us via phone or email.

Did you see?

Our Group Strategy Director Michelle Du-Prât recently discussed how the climate crisis will impact wellness tourism as we head further into 2020 in Welltodo. Read more here.

Did you hear?

Our Experience Strategist Pratik Vyas discussed the latest trends, insights and behaviours affecting customers in the Wellness Industry. Find out more here.


Images courtesy of Atari, IKEA, The Audo

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