Every agent seems to have one. That luxury customer who you just know will LOVE the dizzying luxe eco travel heights of a Soneva, Nihi Sumba or Bawah Reserve experience. But mention the dreaded “e” word and you’ve got them running in the other direction.
For some customers, the term “eco” fills them with thoughts of vegan mush, dreadlocks, and camping. So, what can you do to get past the language and help them see how great these eco travel resorts are?
FIND NEW WORDS (OR MORE WORDS)
If eco or sustainable just isn’t sparking joy for your clientele, it might be time to move away from these words altogether. Often, the connection these buzzwords have to a political identity is just too hard to separate. In a US study, Republicans were less likely to buy a compact fluorescent light bulb that they knew was more energy-efficient than an incandescent bulb when it was labelled “Protect the Environment” than when that label was missing. Wild huh?
So, ditch the words if they’re not working for you and try on some of these for size:
- Wild and unpretentious luxury
- A resort with a symbiotic relationship with its environment
- A refined experience in untouched surrounds
- Wilderness inspired opulence
- Purposeful luxury
- Carefree seclusion
- Intelligent luxury in pristine environments
- Socially responsible
It’s recommended to avoid switching from one buzzword to another, instead employ more descriptive language to help paint the full picture of the perfect escape.
For all of us, purchase motivation is different. For some people, green just isn’t going to get them over the line. For some customers, sustainability doesn’t speak to their personal values, or it’s never been a consideration before. It can be a hard sell on eco-credentials alone and in these cases, it might be best to change gears. Take Tesla, for example, they focus primarily on innovation and performance over and above their eco-credentials as this resonates much more with their target market.
Think about your market and what makes them tick. Instead of focusing on Soneva’s waste management or locally-sourced materials, lean into the Michelin chefs in residence, the butler service or the private beach picnics. Instead of Nihi’s community engagement, speak to their wellness and remote spa experience. Instead Bawah’s off-the-grid energy focus on privacy.
In the end, if a guest books one of these amazing resorts, they’re making a great choice for the planet even if that isn’t their main motivation. And just quietly, we think the islands themselves might be inspiration enough to win over your customers once they visit.
THE JONES FACTOR
As humans, we’re a social bunch and tend to follow the actions of others, especially when it comes to ethical issues. An example we’ve all seen first-hand is with energy providers; bills come with a comparison of your energy usage to others in the neighbourhood. Generally speaking, when people learn they are using more energy than their neighbours, they decrease their usage.
Eco-holidays are not as easy to compare with your neighbours. This is where brand ambassadors and advocates come in, this could be your own recommendations and travel tales, other customers from your business and the local community or even sharing the news of celebrities or influential guests who’ve also stayed at the property.
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
There’s a reason we can’t take our eyes of our own little window on the Zoom screen, we all fall somewhere on the narcissism spectrum. This is important information for those of us in sales, as, like most things, sustainability can seem more attractive when the benefits to the individual are highlighted. Instead of speaking to the larger global benefits and impacts of choosing the greener choice speak instead to the individual goals.
Bawah’s marine conservation project isn’t all about the reef preservation and rehabilitation, it’s about the best snorkelling you can experience and not having to share it with anyone else.
Soneva’s farm-to-table dining isn’t all about waste management and energy efficiency, it’s about the freshest flavours and tailored dishes that you just won’t find anywhere else.
Nihi Sumba’s community and animal projects are all about getting a front-row seat and unprecedented access to an ancient culture.
In the current climate, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business article that doesn’t recommend honing in on consumer demand for brands with clear purpose and sustainability. But with 65% of those surveyed expressing enthusiasm to buy responsible products, only 26% actually do. Perhaps the way we position, market and speak about eco travel can help our guests narrow their own intention-action gap.
Need a hand pitching one of our eco travel clients? Reach out to us for assistance.
- White, K., Hardisty, D. & Habib, R. (2019). The Elusive Green Customer. Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/2019/07/the-elusive-green-consumer
- Hardisty, D., White, K. & Habib, R. (2019). 5 ways to shift consumers towards sustainable behaviour. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/5-ways-to-shift-consumers-towards-sustainable-behaviour-120883
- Wilding, M. (2018). Narcissism vs Narcissist. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/narcissism-vs-narcissist-2018-11?r=US&IR=T