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Travel Tech Essentialist #116: Communities
The best communities are created by the fans, not the brand. — Marc Baumann
But of course, the brand has to build the right conditions and infrastructure to enable the community in the first place. In #2, read about how Nike is co-creating brand culture with its fan community. Future leading brands will be built around the community and the cult around them, with ownership built in. A shoe company is doing it. Travel companies will too.
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0. The most clicked link in the previous newsletter
The most clicked link in Travel Tech Essentialist #115 was Boarding a Plane Shouldn’t Be This Hard, Key & Peele’s comedy skit.
1. JP Morgan Chase Travel is rivaling Expedia and Booking
Chase defined its strategy to become a household name in premium leisure travel, as outlined in the bank’s 2023 investor day presentation. Chase Travel did $8 billion in sales in 2022 with 24% growth in transactions year-over-year and 40% growth in the number of customers purchasing through Chase Travel (for now, only open for Chase customers or cardholders). Chase expects to hit $10 billion in sales this year and $15 billion by 2025.
Chase’s travel vision is to create “an end-to-end journey that delivers curated content, unique experiences, and elevated servicing while operating as a self-sustaining business.” In the last couple of years, Chase has been putting together the pieces:
Acquired booking platform cxLoyalty in December 2020, which now runs Chase’s travel booking engine, having replaced Expedia
Acquired restaurant review company The Infatuation in September 2021, which also includes Zaga
Acquired travel agency Frosch International Travel in Feb 2022 with more than 1,000 agents.
Launching Chase Sapphire airport lounges, partnering with the owner of The Club lounge chain.
2. Community and ownership as cornerstones for brand building
Nike, which has generated over $186 million in Web3 so far (8x more than Dolce & Gabanna in the 2nd place) continues to be the benchmark for consumer brands on how to use Web3 tech to redefine consumer relationships. Nike’s journey is also emblematic of how brands and consumer collectives co-creating culture in the digital realm. Nike’s strategy is built on the back of these megatrends:
Web3 tech that enables “virtual cultural artifacts” (aka NFTs) & brand IP
Decentralization of power
Community collectives and cultural branding
Marc Baumann wrote an in-depth case study on Nike's Web3 strategy and how this marks a paradigm shift for co-creating brand culture.
3. The greatest sales deck and what makes it great
Andy Raskin helps CEOs align their leadership teams around a strategic narrative—a single story that powers success in sales, marketing, product, fundraising, and recruiting. His clients include venture-backed startups funded by Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, GV, and other top investors, as well as larger companies like Uber, Salesforce, Square, Dropbox, and IBM. All this to tell you that Andy knows his stuff. He wrote about the greatest sales deck he's ever seen, breaking down the five elements that made it so effective. Concrete and actionable advice that will make your decks and communications in general exponentially better.
4. Millennials are now out-spending boomers on luxury travel
Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) outspent Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) in 2022, according to a report from Bain & Company, and they’re on track to represent 80% of luxury purchases by 2030, including travel. Robb Report writes about how global travel brands are racing to transform their once boomer-targeted properties into escapes for the soon-to-be or newly middle-aged.
5. Plug and Play Tech Center is not standing still
The PitchBook Data Global League Table provides multiple rankings by geography, deal type, exits for VC, Private Equity, Acquirers of VC-backed companies and acquirers of PE-backed companies.
It seems like Plug and Play Tech Center was very active in Q1 2023. They came out on top of many categories:
- Most active VC globally: 102 deals
- Most active VC in the USA: 50 deals
- Most active VC in Europe: 45 deals
- Most active VC at Angel & Seed: 46 deals
- Most active VC at Late Stage: 33 deals
- 3rd most active VC at Early Stage: 23 deals
- 2nd VC with most exits globally: 12 deals
- 2nd VC with most exits in Europe: 7 deals
Speaking of Plug and Play, its Travel and Hospitality vertical will host their in-person expo in their headquarters in Silicon Valley at 11:00 am on June 7th. It’s a great opportunity to meet with industry leaders, hear from many exciting travel startups, and learn more about the latest trends across the travel industry. You can register for free here (ticket prices will be $1,000 at the door).
6. The best travel tip that most people don't know? Having a hat.
This was a question posted on Reddit. One answer elaborated on the multiple lesser-known benefits of having a hat. Among them:
Meeting up with strangers or a tour group? You're the person in the hat.
When talking with officials, the act of taking off a hat shows obedience to authority and will make the interaction just that much smoother.
When you're tucking in for the night, putting keys, coins, that new bus pass, &c. in the (upside-down) hat so they don't get misplaced in a new place.
Similarly, the (upside-down) hat can be used to store pocket junk before you go through an X-ray checkpoint.
A hat soaked in water can feel amazing on a hot day.
A rolled travel towel or clothes can be folded into a hat to make an impromptu pillow.
A hat on a chair or similar can help hold a spot when customs (or languages) are unfamiliar.
7. Looking back at the most clicked jobs
Two thousand two hundred jobs have been posted in the job board since I launched it in May 2021. Here are the 15 that have gotten the most attention (clicks and applications):
- Google: Global Travel Industry Partnerships Lead
- Travel Compositor: CCO
- Airbnb: Strategic Program Manager, Southern Europe
- Travala.com: Chief Product Officer
- Expedia Group: Director, Strategic Partnerships
- Amazon: Travel & Hospitality Industry Advisor
- Mr. Alfred: Head of Growth
- Faye: Business Development Manager
- Caravelo: VP Sales
- Sensible Weather: Hospitality Business Development Manager
- Amazon: Head of Travel & Hospitality Industry Marketing
- GetYourGuide: Director Sales & Account Management, Americas
- Expedia Group: Vice President, Retail Partnerships
- ZYTLYN: Global Sales Lead
- Wheel the World: CTO
There are currently 60 open positions on the job board.
→If you’re a company looking to hire, request access to meet world-class candidates in the Travel Tech Essentialist talent network and post your jobs on the job board
8. The experience economy endures: 2023 Deloitte summer travel survey (US travelers)
50% of Americans are planning a leisure trip that includes paid lodging this summer—up from 46% in 2022
Travelers are signaling intentions to squeeze in more trips this summer: an average of 3.1 trips—up from 2.3 in 2022
More flying ... and flying further. 22% of summer travelers plan to take at least one international flight this summer—up from 14% in 2022
37% of air travelers will fly to international destinations —up from 27% in 2022.
Of those traveling to international destinations, significantly more are going to Europe (57% vs 49% in 2022), instead of closer destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean (21% vs 28% in 2022)
To read the full report, click here.
9. Artificial Intelligence vs. Human Intelligence 😜
True. We usually don't know what we want until we see it.
10. Fundraising and Partnerships
GetYourGuide raises $194 million at a $2 billion valuation, double the startup’s valuation compared to its previous round, a monster $484 million Series E in 2019. The money is coming in the form of an $85 million Series F and a revolving credit facility of $109 million.
Uber launched flight bookings in the UK, powered by Hopper. Read +.
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