Waldorf Astoria And Hamleys Create An Immersive Offer For Kids
The luxury hotel's youngest guests can have a tea party with a life-sized Hamleys bear during their stay, an offer that functions as an engaging and experiential extension of the brand's guest accommodations
Waldorf Astoria hotels in China entered into a partnership with Hamleys, a British toy company, to create in-house Hamleys-themed afternoon tea experiences in which guests can enjoy treats such as the Waldorf Astoria’s iconic red velvet cake with the Hamley’s teddy bear. This afternoon tea service also includes customized care packages for children and activations such as the Kid’s Edutainment Club full of interactive activities.
These initiatives provide kids with special in-room amenities such as child-sized bathrobes, slippers and goodie bags, which, of course, each include a teddy bear. In an age where consumer loyalty is built on customized experiences, the changing role of physical store and luxury hospitality landscape makes immersive experiences increasingly important for the emerging generation of high-end consumers.
Bain and Company reports that luxury consumers value immersive brand experiences more than a brand’s products themselves. Bain describes the changing role of the physical store in the retail landscape: “Increasingly, they will need to transform stores into places that feel like home, delivering distinctive, immersive experiences and engaging in a genuine dialogue with customers.”
Luxury hotels strive to create environments that offer exceptional services to make their guests feel at ease, and Waldorf Astoria is no exception, its partnership with Hamleys showing that the luxury hospitality chain is paying attention to the three primary drivers of retail consumers: consciousness, customization and care.
For children, emotions and immersive experiences play an especially significant role in their purchasing decisions. At a time where 9 in 10 generation-z members use technology to feel connected to the world around them, brands need to reinvent the ways that they interact with their younger offline audiences. Two-thirds of generation z consumers use their lifestyle habits to control their mental attitudes. Therefore, the more engaging and thoughtful that brands can make their interactive experiences, the more that younger consumers will be attracted to their product offerings and will be loyal, returning customers.
The younger generations demand that brands bring compassion and human connection back into commerce. In the luxury industry, emotions and aesthetics equally matter. Luxury hospitality brands are seeking to bring “Instaworthy” leisure experiences into play. The Four Seasons recently launched its World of Adventures campaign, which curates each step of the consumer journey to the client’s individual needs. Accordingly, the Waldorf Astoria’s new partnership with Hamleys customizes the customer experience for its youngest clientele.
Bain stresses for brands to be successful with modern-day luxury consumers, they need to “[d]evelop one-to-one relationships with younger generations, local consumers and tourists.” Accordingly, Waldorf Astoria’s partnership with Hamleys brings a new experiential element to the omni-channel customer journey. Unlike the traditional gift shop model, Hamleys afternoon-tea experience allows younger consumers to create an emotional bond with the brand’s products long before the commercial transaction stage of the consumer journey.