How Giggle Helps Hotels to Compete with Airbnb and Outperform It by Being Themselves
by: Angela Pagiri & Diana Hauser
When Airbnb emerged and disrupted the status quo a decade ago, it took everyone by storm. The originality of its business model where everyone can be a host and get involved in the guests’ holiday experience seemed to fill the gap of the real human connection that traditional accommodation businesses have been lacking, if not absent. Hotels, on the flip side, were not entirely prepared for the unprecedented nature of competition, but the crux of the matter is in fact its reluctance to innovate on their offerings.
How hotels are operating nowadays goes back to as early as the 17th century, where the operation mostly relied on the hotel’s hardware: rooms, pool, wellness center, and food and beverage facilities. Holidaymakers have accustomed to this, taking hotel facilities as main determinants in their decision-making process. The experience economy that underpins Airbnb’s value proposition gave new impetus for hotels to innovate their business practice. This is where Giggle saw opportunities and set out on a mission to help hotels go out of their comfort zone and incorporate emotional aspects in their sales strategy by introducing tailored, authentic experiences for the guests, unique in their property.
Giggle became the newly found avenue for hotels to showcase their unique experiences through all available channels. Giggle hotel clients have since invested more in innovating their tailored experiences to offer to the guests, such as brewery workshop, kitchen party with the Chef, or a day in the mountain with Christian, the avid-hiker hotel staff, whom one can ‘rent’ to have an authentic holiday experience. As a matter of fact, studies suggest the more memorable experiences a tourist is able to get involved in, the more positive emotions it generates. The tourist associates these positive emotions with the hotel, resulting in guest loyalty and positive Word-of-Mouth. Giggle is an epitome of ways for hotels to earn additional revenue without spending a penny to refurbish their rooms or building a new bar.
© Giggle GmbH
The ingenuity of Giggle business idea gives hotels the head start to redirect their business strategy based on the theory of Jobs to be Done, infamously introduced by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, who also co-wrote an article on HBR breaking the theory down. This theory layout the very reasons why customers make the choices they do. When experiences offered by hotels matter more than the fitness center or the plush beds, hotels should start to bring an understanding of what kind of ‘job’ a family with two smaller kids tries to accomplish by staying in an alpine resort into the equation. The deeper understanding of the social and emotional dimensions of customers’ jobs should be the base for them while curating the experience offerings.