Hospitality corporation attempts to package Millennial as ‘mindset’

“At Hyatt, what we like to do is think about Millennials not as a demographic but more as a mindset.”

That’s Sandra Micek, senior vice president of global brands at Hyatt, giving an interview at the Ad Age Digital Conference. Mindset, to Hyatt, means thinking about what Millennials want and delivering that through the brand.

Micek cited Hyatt Centric, a Hyatt hotel brand that’s located in the middle of big cities and thinks more about Millennials and location – lobbies that tell the story of the location; hangout spots with “a curated collection of local books and magazines” and “signature cocktails”; and associates who can tell guests about the location.

Hyatt is, of course, not alone in attempting to rope in Millennials by offering jazzy brands that cater to lifestyle. There’s Moxie and Loft, plus so many others I’ve written about in the past. Typically these brands offer the same general things – modern and minimalist style that almost echoes a nightclub; a cafe/bar that serves “signature cocktails” or locally sourced stuff; and some balance of plenty of WIFI and “a human touch.”

And it’s all pretty bogus.

Hospitality corporations are simply repackaging the same old experience into a slightly different experience, then throwing around “Millennial is a mindset” to sell the shiny new package. What Millennials want is affordability, location and convenience. Hyatt Centric gets the location part right, plopping its hotels in the middle of cities (Chicago’s, for instance, is right in the Loop, near Millennium Park).

But affordability? That’s the biggest thing Millennials want, and guess what? A room is at least $178 per night on a Saturday night in late April. Millennials want rooms closer to $100 per night (or cheaper), even in big cities with good location.

And guess who has rooms under $100 per night, just a quick jaunt from the heart of Chicago? Yup, Airbnb.

And saying that associates will help you … well that’s a given. Guests should expect associates to aid with cool places to visit and eat. They’re called concierge.

That’s why the Millennial “mindset” talk is ridiculous. It’s a way for corporations and organizations to package their brands for Millennials. Meanwhile, as I’ve said before, Millennial is actually a demographic. It’s a measurable cohort.

Again, don’t give into “mindset.” You’re smarter than that.