How do you measure the true value of an experience?
Our study assesses consumer interest and theexpected price people would be willing to pay for a varietyof hotel experiences dealing with four different aspects offour senses (seeing, touching, smelling, hearing). A total of315 respondents evaluated experimentally designedvignettes, comprising a different combination of positive,pleasant sensory experiences, that a hotel might offer itsguests as a point of differentiation. Each respondentevaluated a unique set of vignettes. Vignette ratings weredeconstructed into the contribution of each sensoryexperience as a driver both of interest in the hotel, as wellas the relative amount of money a consumer was willing topay versus a standard one night hotel cost. It is not theparticular sense, but rather the particular experience whichdrives consumer interest and amount willing to pay. Threemind-set segments emerged: sensory seekers, fragranceand touch, design and relaxation. Since these groups areinterspersed in the population, we devised a screening testof five questions which is 65 percent accurate in classifyinga prospect. The test shows hotels what to offer theprospective guest to produce a very desirable experiencethat might command a higher price.