S’more Consumer PR – Lesson in Glamping

Glamping. It’s a word that has been embraced with as much vigor this year as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” While this trendy term may be jargon-jar worthy, the word represents a new breed of consumer demand that isn’t going away.

This week, one of our clients, Shelter Co. – a San Francisco-based pop-up luxury travel/camping company (a.k.a. “glamping”) and the cure-all for lackluster lodging and events – was featured on ABC’s Nightline to demystify the glamping paradox and its increasing popularity.

See the segment here, hosted by ABC correspondent and Bay Area native Cecilia Vega @ceciliavegaABC:

As we follow the news and trends of consumer industries in which we specialize  in (Wine, Food and Beverage, Retail to name a few), there is no denying that glamping and many new service-based businesses represent a shift to cater to a new consumer who values the holy trinity of service: 

    1. Customization
    2. Localization
    3. Quick gratification 


Compelling Consumer PR strategy

As we’ve observed in today’s market for compelling Consumer PR strategy, these attributes are critical for invigorating established brands. They also happen to serve as the basis of several budding travel and hospitality businesses underway. San Francisco is especially ripe with this travel entrepreneurship, another reason we love it here. In homage to glamping and the spirit of customized travel, below is a round-up of some breakthrough, home-grown new businesses that have caught our eye. Each is a great example of the market adjusting to answer a new demand: 

      • Anyroad is a worldwide curated platform for tours that support local tour guides and communities. They offer local guided tours of San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Israel, London and Rio de Janeiro. AnyRoad features incredibly unique activities, like the Cheese Lover’s Tour of Point Reyes and The Beers and Bikes Tour of San Francisco (BUI warning in full effect).   
      • BoatBound is “the AirBnB” of boats (AirBnb is another favorite of ours) where you rent real boats from real people. Boatbound is the first and only fully insured “pier-to-pier” marketplace for boat rentals in the U.S. The company also recently established a partnership with Uber (another SF-based darling) to charter commutes in one quick click. 
      • How many times have you been traveling and completely lost in search some good local fare? Traveling Spoon offers custom in-home cooking experiences in 14 cities throughout India, Thailand and Vietnam. Travelers are paired with a host during their journey while learning about that city’s local cuisine and unique cooking techniques. Although just barely off the ground, this concept aims to create lasting, meaningful cultural exchanges: mingle with locals, avoid tourist traps and come away with a truly memorable and authentic experience.                
      • Peek offers a customized vacation experience by providing high-quality activities through vendors all over the world, making them easily accessible by booking through a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. All activities are packaged nicely in a great user interface, so it’s easy to spot options for kids, ideas for locals, or activities under $50. A special addition a “Perfect Day” contributed by local luminaries. In San Francisco, there are Perfect Day round-ups by Twitter/Square founder Jack Dorsey, California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Stacey Bendet Eisner (founder of Alice + Olivia) and others. 
      • Microtrip is a free road app that helps travelers access what activities and amenities are available in real time. This could be a really great cure for boredom and an excellent opportunity for local events to gain awareness and attendance, and thrive off all the spontaneity seekers out there – locals or visitors alike. 
      • Surfair is a private jet service providing all-you-can-fly services in California cities including Napa, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The airline provides members with unlimited short-haul flights on a private plan without the hassles associated with traditional airlines. The private air industry is expected to flourish in the coming decade and with a new rail system in the works for California, we’re interested to see how all these transportation options will net out. 

This is just a small slice for what’s out there. Keep up the good work, San Francisco. We’re excited to see what’s next.

For more information on Consumer PR, please call Fineman PR at 415.392.1000

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