Highlighting complexity in Travel
Recently I was involved in a project working with a successful, privately owned, european travel brand to highlight new service offerings which the company could explore and commercialise in order to increase their revenue and bring new markets into its existing core offering.
The brief for this project was just magic. "We know we're pretty good. But we know no one in our sector is exceptional. What service can we develop to drive our company forwards in to this unoccupied space?"
This organisation has a series of OTA websites serving most of Asia and Europe, with a service in the US. They have an industry leading comparison engine and are actively looking to explore other areas of the travel industry in which they could take the lead and by extension generate revenue.
As well as developing some fantastic ways of looking at the opportunity spaces we produced a wide range of potential offerings, which have now been rolled forwards into the company roadmap and are in development.
The best bits - Workshop.
The project was framed around a series of workshops, the second of which was with the company's “Top 60”; the 60 global top level managers who are the decision makers for the independent organisation.
This workshop was on a set in stone date, and due to a slip in the project start date it was landing too soon in the process to service it's intended purpose, to validate the developed business strategies. Instead I developed a workshop with three key intents:
Utilise the defacto focus group of 50 frequent travellers to develop user insight.
Break some commonly held illusions about travel held by the company
Generate buy in to the process we were using, rather than the outcomes we generated.
The company (and indeed in the travel industry) holds on to an illusion which makes developing the service offering difficult: “Other people's travel experiences are simple”. This simple belief limited the scope of where management was interested in pushing their products, and made the users deal with the ubiquitous complexity of travel. Inherent within this belief are other misconceptions, such as cheap being the strongest motivating factor.
i had the 60 individuals break down in to 6 groups, each group being assigned a scenario (Short Haul Business Traveller, Friends City Break, Backpacking Adventure). A single person in each group, who identified with the scenario experience, became the subject of an empathy based mapping exercise, and was cross examined by the rest of the team.
This simple exercise, combined with a few analysis and filtering exercise, was taken on with great enthusiasm by all attendees, and the results provided us with a great insight into both the organisation and, as intended, travel journeys.
The best bits - Sector Eco-Systems.
To spot opportunities which were not being taken advantage of right across the travel industry we focussed all our journeys, from all scenarios, on a complete end to end. Our client already utilises the three phase See/Think/Do process developed by Google to structure their marketing, so we applied the same language to their journeys. We amalgamated the varying scenarios to form a top level travel journeys, then ran an in depth competitor analysis across the industry, identifying where there was light or poor coverage of opportunity spaces.