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Unveiling the Hybrid Consumer: Navigating the Intersection of Price, Quality

  • 18 Pages
  • Published On: 30-11-2023
Part A
Introduction
Background

For businesses to be able to sustain their development and expansion in the market they should have enough in-depth knowledge about their target consumer. Currently, it has been found that consumers tend to buy products and services in regard to price. This means that consumers will tend to go for cheaper products and services with quality. This has been the main problem for a business that wishes to establish and understand its consumer base. Business and organizations need to understand a consumer and how they are affected by the perceived value of a product or service. Personal perception, culture, and social trends are among the key issues that influence consumer behaviour towards buying and settling for products/services. The Kotler and Armstrong theory suggests that customers nowadays have both micro-and macro-environmental influences (Kotler and Armstrong, 2018). They make assessments according to their characteristics based on the stimulus. A new hybrid customer has emerged through the analysis of consumer behaviour. Hybrid customers are prepared to pay for certain products at a premium price and use digital tools for certain items. People ensure that they choose to buy particular services by using conventional channels. Consumer habits must be analysed to identify ways to manoeuvre services to fit the customer's requirements.

In 2015, the hotel sector boosted its revenues in regional United Kingdom hotels by 10.6% and its tourism in London by 5.2% according to Mintel report 2015. That was above the EU's RavPAR, which was just 3.2 per cent (Mintel report, 2015). The current tourists have recognized that the hotel brand plays a major role (UK Hotels Forecast 2019). Brand management has also become vital. During vacations such as St. Patrick's Day and other days, domestic consumers have also increased. However, the UK hotel sector faces several new unique difficulties, separate from conventional issues such as higher labour costs and therefore more taxation. This research demonstrates a lot of positive developments. They involve the examination of customer demand and the fulfilled expectations of consumers.

Key Issues
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The hotel industry and the tourism sectors are facing major issues such as digitization of all processes, and consumers' expectations. The advent of a technologically driven on-demand economy has changed and shaped this sector so drastically (Davahli et al., 2020). While it remains a rough, persistent and meticulously competitive industry, the road to success now has a range of aspects. There is no one formula for everyone and hotels do not need to adhere to complicated and fast guidelines anymore. Technology plays a major equalization role, offering a fighting ability to thrive even for the youngest player (Cronenberg, 2020). Travel, tourism and hospitality prove to be a core aspect of economic growth and employment around the world. It is safe to suppose that travel and tourism will remain a dominating field of the near and far-off future as transportation is becoming more economical and country boundaries are flurry.

The sales of hospitality, as it is, vary from other services. This is because the player wants to market both the real and the intangible goods. The effectiveness then relays more than merely dragging customers to purchase what you are selling based on marketing 'services (Cronenberg, 2020). The right brand image to promote trust and even transformations is significant. Another crucial thing is a clear brand name as consumers are willing to join the brand on many fronts. As a forum for consumer participation, your active engagement on social media is very important (Cain et al., 2019).

There has also been a need to improve on the kind of services and delivery models being offered in this industry to meet the new consumer expectations that keep on evolving. The brand of hotel is one of the most significant perception values to modern consumers. Therefore, making the hotel sector adopt brand image as a new consumer’s strategy because it is an important part of consumer’s decision making processes. In addition, the brand has been concluded by the researchers to be an important instrument to sustain the hotel industry in the modern error (Clarke and Boud, 2018).

In addition to these technological enhancements, the consumer is also required to have an emotional connection with hotels and tourism. Hotels have become exceedingly difficult to match today's consumer demands (Foroudi et al., 2020). This has been propelled majorly because of the growth of disposable income, and the number of international tourists that visit the country. The 2012 London Olympics contributed influences the increase of UK tourism awareness. In the course of vacation traffic, domestic tourism also increases (Davahli et al., 2020). The development in tourism is also greatly supported by international students. Even under poor financial situations, tourism has increased. There is a need to address this swiftly to preserve consumer sponsorship, increasing traffic to UK tourism.

The significance of the research

In order to sustain this problem, it is important to meet the new age hybrid consumer. In current times, there has been a greater influx of consumers. Because of this, consumers who are exposed to a broad range of channels also have to be satisfied. Globalization has resulted in growing customer demands. In the rising countries, there has been a surge in tourism. If the industry wishes to respond to contemporary consumers issues and continue to provide consumer protection, the UK should have a dynamic policy in place. The UK business report 2019 reports that the number of staff directly or indirectly dependent on tourism in the UK is 3.1 million and 262,268 UK enterprises rely on tourism (UK Hotels Forecast 2019). This research is so important since it highlights the recent tangible challenges confronting UK tourism in detail and has to be dealt with swiftly to preserve greater consumer influx.

Aims

The research aims to quench the thirst of modern tech-savvy hybrid consumers who have endless and evolving expectations.

Objectives

Comprise the rationale behind current hybrid consumers' decision of procurement.

Search for a company plan that meets modern consumer expectations

Finding technically capable ways

Importance of brand management development

Current status of the Hospitality Industry in the UK

The existing conditions in the UK tourism industry must be examined to study the UK tourism sector. According to data information, UK Tourism 2019 reports shows that the UK is the eighth favourite international tourism destination in the world. In the UK, the net tourism asset value is estimated at approximately £126.9 billion. This is around 9% of British GDP. The tourism revenue was £123.2 billion in fiscal 2019 and is expected to grow above that upon the recovery of the economy due to Covid-19 (UK Hotels Forecast 2019). It was discovered that income tourism was growing, and tourists during the festival seasons make up most of the earnings. In 2019 hotel industry improved income by 10.6% in regional UK hotels. Overall, there was a 5.2 % increase for the fiscal year (UK Hotels Forecast 2019). This was higher than the revenue generated by other countries in the European Union. However, it was discovered that the London Olympics 2012 was the main driver to the tourism traffic that is experienced in the country to date. Due to that, 3 Million people have currently employed in Tourism related industry. The data below gives an overview of UK Hotels performance and the future of hospitality industry.

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The importance of technology in the hospitality sector

The use of internet tools has increased according to the Euro Monitor (2020) study. People use several tools for buying many travel and tourist services. The development of strategic partnerships to facilitate vehicle rental models, food services that are necessary for tourism and travel has grown. The brand awareness of some hotel brands and services businesses also increased in these respects. The use of social media apps is now important in the development of viable models of service provision. According to Trip Advisor, (2019), Making use of both digital media techniques and technology is not only an hour but also cheaper and consumer tastes more specifically. Today, email and content marketing and brand awareness over the Internet are intimately connected to SEO. Any of these initiatives are carefully crafted to establish, conserve and protect brand identity and photographs. In addition to providing invaluable experience, it will continue to involve consumers with best-in-class new-age business practices.

Social Media

Digital technology grew by 17% in the UK in 2015, up from 15% in 2019 (UK Hotels Forecast 2019). The service-oriented economy becomes more digital as more and modern consumers to purchase are using more digital apps and Internet technologies. The purchase of services is impacted by the reviews supplied. Recent times have also expanded social media brand awareness of services and delivery choices. Innovative services for consumers are increasing. For example, clicking and collecting services are increased. Customized services such as Click and collect service are increasingly being provided by hotels. These new unique features are created for individual hotel apps and select websites. For example, Dylan Hotel in Amsterdam offers room shopping Click and collect service (UK Hotels Forecast 2019). The products the consumer chooses are delivered promptly. This allows for individualization and also allows the management to communicate in a more complex way with the consumers.

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Increased personal services

In the hotel service industry, customer service is a vital part. Demand for personal services among travellers has increased. Hybrid customers are a conundrum, as said above. They desire state-of-the-art technology and expect personalized services at the same time. Consumers expect this to feel connected with the local community. This is evident in UK Hotels Forecast 2019's studies, which shows that customer traffic in British tourism regions is increasing. Another aspect of hotels' service enhancement is to recognize their demand for services as regards consumer choice.

Retaining and finding talent

The hospitality sector's success and development depend on the status of global and local economies. In other words, it would be important to retain sufficient personnel in the next year. In 2016, 15,000 people were working in the hospitality sector (González-Torres et al., 2020). In 2026, the industry continues to expand and sustain and recruit top talents are projected to increase to about 17,000. For businesses to compete, they must ensure that they have well-trained workers. However, retaining workers regardless of the industry is an important problem. Statistics shows that nearly one-third of staff have abandoned their jobs after just six months (Gursoy and Chi, 2020). About 45% of employees manage to last two years on average. Techniques will have to be established in 2021 to sustain the highest standards of ability and talent. Focusing on reference-based employers is an effective way to preserve these skills. In addition, the industry would need to follow procedures to improve efficiency and morality for a worker. The workers may be motivated by favourable job schedules, technology or bonuses (Karim et al., 2020).

Innovative technology

Electronic check-in is the industry's new technology. But the transition proved challenging to many hotels. The innovation has also been introduced by other hotels. If customers plan to fly, hotels can register and then submit key cards with new frequency-specific identity recognition. On arrival, a text message, containing the room number and time are forwarded to the guest's cell phone. The client does not check the guest's presence at the hotel at the front desk (Majid et al, 2019). You should switch to your room and use the key card right away. This technology would reduce their wages and earnings for small and other big hotels. But if the speed of other hotels doesn't correlate, things could turn for worse (Martínez et al, 2019).

Polarization of markets

There were two types of consumers in prior decades. They were high-end consumers and lower-end consumers. Some clients were prepared to pay premium prices for outstanding services. Low-end buyers desired the best results for the money they paid for their items (Nikolskaya et al., 2019). They expected the products to be competitively priced and desired the greatest deals. The hybrid middle-income consumers have, nevertheless, increased. These consumers expect economical, luxurious services. These consumers of the modern age effectively define the success or the failure of a corporation. In the modern era, consumers need to be convinced of the price of a product or of the luxury that the particular service option might gain from acquiring. The new aspects offered by the service organisations must be convinced of these hybrid consumers (Pioquinto et al., 2019).

The significance of consumption is likewise changing. In the various emerging countries, there has been a growth in disposable income. The new age of hybrid visitors has been developed. The new age criteria have to comprise the tourism business. Compared with people's previous patterns of consumption, the consumer habits of the new age are substantially different. This idea of hybrid consumers was proven to be less adept at families (Sun et al., 2020). The segment of hybrid consumers is current youth who have just begun to earn.

In researching the greatest deals and services for consumers, these Adults are more adventurers (Song and Lee, 2020). These hybrid consumers were willing to afford premium services to explore new cultural practices (Young, 2020). The use of luxurious services offered by travel agencies became more of an attraction to hybrid consumers. These hybrid customers did not consciously make these decisions. These selections were chosen because of how emotionally someone felt about a product or service.

Environmental sustainability

More UK tourism brands and services have been identified to offer environmental importance. They intended to ensure that their corporate operations cause little environmental damage (Song and Lee, 2020). Two aspects have been improved for the industry by implementing environmental practices. One aimed to cut operating costs through sustainable techniques (Young, 2020). The resources were optimized. The intrinsic brand equity that these customer practices have had. More consumers formed a better picture of the brand when companies followed environmental policies. These were the findings of the recent global analysis of the United Kingdom marketplaces. Since 2012, tourism has increased and has continued to help companies to generate profit (Song and Lee, 2020).

Part B: Four Reflective statements

Some tourism organizations have endured while some in the modern tourism sector have not been in a position to comprehend the customer behaviour outlined in the Kotler and Armstrong models. This was utilized as a method for understanding contemporary consumer choice and how consumers might enhance their patronage. In this reflection, we are going to comprehend consumer behaviour using the four main parameters Kotler and Armstrong propose. The parameters are mandates for determining the buyer's behaviour are:

Psychological

This kind of behavioural factor determines buyer behaviour in terms of individual perceptions and beliefs about product performance. Consumers are also influenced by the education level that causes them to develop an attitude toward a product or service using psychological aspects.

Social

Social refers to the reference groups utilized in connection with societies by individuals. There are family circles and friends. They are the family and social networks that determine the need of the person. Consumers decide to buy products/services depending on his/her social status or the current social issues at hand.

Personal

This relates to the age, the necessity and economic circumstances of the person that determine the buyer’s attitude. These factors are subjective, individual-based micro-factor.

Cultural

The social macroeconomic aspects of a place are what is meant by cultural aspects. They are the society's convictions and cultures. Based on their cultures, sub-cultures and socioeconomic classes, people make shopping choices from this cultural component. All these aspects affect the behaviour of a place's buyer (Song and Lee, 2020). The results from the United Kingdom tourism business show that consumers nowadays are seen as multipurpose hybrids. The consumer is moving towards the modern hybrid consumer more. Hybrid consumers have emerged. If customers are persuaded that the company will provide premium service for particular products, they will pay premium prices. Kotler and Armstrong are utilized to satisfy the expectations of the new consumers. The following recommendations are produced by applying this methodology. These concepts have already been used by many companies and service groups (Kotler and Armstrong, 2018).

The following are some of the most successful companies. The organizations establish brand equity to enhance the psychological connection to certain service organizations (Young, 2020). The organizations have used innovative advertising techniques to boost brand perceptions. Since environmental awareness has increased, environmental practices have boosted the perception of the brand. A personal relationship is built by current digital apps with the intended consumer group. In order to meet the unique requirements, services are offered effectively (Song and Lee, 2020). The connection to the brand has been made. Several apps have already been developed to boost service provision. For this aim, there are several simulation applications. Consumer preference documentation and customizing efforts have risen. The promotion was aimed towards community building. These elements have made it possible for the companies to sustain themselves.

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Conclusion

The tourism business in the UK is already increasing from this is evident. Consumer traffic increased before the Olympics in London. This decade saw the emergence of new-age consumers. They are the hybrid consumers of current times. Businesses have used technology to personalize the solutions to satisfy their wants. In this context, a profound analysis has been made. The needs of our customers are shifting and companies that we're able to satisfy expectations have acquired brand equity and sustained it in the general market despite difficult financial Times during this pandemic.

Recommendations

They should make sure that they study and understand their consumers and make sure that their demands are met. They can only archive this by using digital media tools and social media apps. In order to develop a sense of closeness, hotel management should connect with the clients individually Develop a better methodology for quick service and goods delivery to consumers Obtain client feedback and make modifications based on changing demands In addition, look at new technologies and new events to provide for modern technologically knowledgeable consumers.

Reference

Cain, A., Grundy, J. and Woodward, C.J., 2018. Focusing on learning through constructive alignment with task-oriented portfolio assessment. European Journal of Engineering Education, 43(4), pp.569-584.

Clarke, J.L. and Boud, D., 2018. Refocusing portfolio assessment: Curating for feedback and portrayal. Innovations in education and teaching international, 55(4), pp.479-486.

Cronenberg, S., 2020. Is the edTPA a portfolio assessment?: Applying academic language in teacher education. Arts Education Policy Review, pp.1-14.

Davahli, M.R., Karwowski, W., Sonmez, S. and Apostolopoulos, Y., 2020. The hospitality industry in the face of the covid-19 pandemic: Current topics and research methods. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(20), p.7366.

Foroudi, P., Tabaghdehi, S.A.H. and Marvi, R., 2020. The gloom of the COVID-19 shock in the hospitality industry: A study of consumer risk perception and adaptive belief in the dark cloud of a pandemic. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 92, p.102717.

González-Torres, T., Rodríguez-Sánchez, J.L. and Pelechano-Barahona, E., 2020. Managing relationships in the Tourism Supply Chain to overcome epidemic outbreaks: The case of COVID-19 and the hospitality industry in Spain. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 92, p.102733.

Gursoy, D. and Chi, C.G., 2020. Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on hospitality industry: review of the current situations and a research agenda.

Majid, A., Yasir, M., Yousaf, Z. and Qudratullah, H., 2019. Role of network capability, structural flexibility and management commitment in defining strategic performance in hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Martínez, P., Herrero, Á. and Gómez‐López, R., 2019. Corporate images and customer behavioral intentions in an environmentally certified context: Promoting environmental sustainability in the hospitality industry. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 26(6), pp.1382-1391.

Mintel (2015 ) HOTELS IN AN UPSWING – OUTLOOK FOR 2015,http://www.mintel.com/blog/travel-and-tourism-market-news/hotels-in-an-upswingoutlook-for-2015.

Nikolskaya, E.Y., Kovaleva, N.I., Dracheva, E.L., Gadimova, F.K. and Novikova, N.G., 2019. Methodological techniques for measuring performance in the hospitality industry. Journal of Environmental Management & Tourism, 10(3 (34)), pp.379-384.

Pioquinto, B., Camara, J., Buted, D.R. and Espinosa, N., 2019. Portfolio-based Analysis and Competencies of Hospitality Management Students in Events Management: A Basis for Syllabus Enrichment. Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 2(2), pp.134-139.

Song, S. and Lee, S., 2020. Motivation of internationalization and a moderating role of environmental conditions in the hospitality industry. Tourism Management, 78, p.104050.

Sun, L., Qiu, J., Han, X., Yin, X. and Dong, Z.Y., 2020. Capacity and energy sharing platform with hybrid energy storage system: An example of hospitality industry. Applied Energy, 280, p.115897.

UK Hotels Forecast 2019: www.pwc.co.uk/hospitality-leisure/assets/pwc-uk-hotels-forecast-2019-2020.pdf

Young, J.L., 2020. Evaluating Multicultural Education Courses: Promise and Possibilities for Portfolio Assessment. Multicultural Perspectives, 22(1), pp.20-27.


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