Kimpton’s Influencer Expansion

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants are renowned for offering guests a ‘different way to stay’, making travellers feel genuinely cared for through their thoughtful services, incentives, creative get-togethers and events. Kimpton first introduced the boutique concept as the industry’s pioneer, providing truly unique guest experiences and forging the way for a now global brand.

The Room 301 Influencer Experience

‘Room 301’ was launched by Kimpton Hotels as an immersive ‘social experiment’ – a limited time, guest room experience, designed to delve deeper into building genuine human connections. It commences with a shared sense of place. More than 50 guests stayed in the interactive guest room at the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Los Angeles over a three-month period. Guests could leave mementos for the next occupant; they had the chance to write down messages in a guest book, make video diaries, take polaroid photographs and even directly write intimate confessions on the wall of the hotel room. They were prompted with questions such as ‘What’s your biggest fear?’, ‘What’s your greatest achievement?’, ‘What do you think makes people uniquely human?’ etc. The feedback was astonishing in the fact that it was overwhelming to see how much people were actually willing to disclose to strangers. Everybody had the chance to make connections and interact with each other on a personal level, and the honesty and openness inspired others to step outside their comfort zones.

The Influencer Expansion

Kimpton is hoping to build a greater sense of community by expanding this influencer experience to 20 cities, renamed as the ‘Kimpton Stay Human Project. This new project aims to make their hotel guests feel more connected, more honest, more vulnerable, and most of all, ‘more human’. The in-room elements are supposed to spark creativity and encourage the guests to overshare their experiences, aspirations and values. It is a pure experience of self-reflection and challenges our preconceived notions about travel.

How did Instagram benefit the brand?

Room 301 was transformed into a vibrant ‘Instagramable space’ by commissioning original artwork for the room – a pair of street art angel wings were painted by American artist, Colette Miller, on a feature wall. The social media influencers who took part in the experiment were then able to photograph and document their experiences on Instagram. They tagged the hotel’s location, included at least one campaign hashtag on their post, such as ‘#stayhuman’, and contributed to a shared Instagram story for Kimpton. The posts averaged 2,337 interactions, nearly four times Kimpton’s average of 720! Two of the influencers with large social followings individually boosted the engagement with the brand by 38% and 95%, and the micro-influencers enhanced the engagement by more than 50%. This shows how luxury hotel brands can further their marketing strategies by featuring user-generated content in hashtag-driven Instagram feeds that work as visual reviews.

Kimpton transformed a traditional hotel room into an experience designed for sharing with others, and then chose influencers based on follower size and audience who could authentically tap into consumers’ interest. The experience undoubtedly heightened Kimpton’s brand memorability and instilled positive associations with the hotel. It reinforced the brand’s motto: ‘inspired travel begins at Kimpton’. The idea appealed to millennials who incessantly seek new and exciting experiences to share on social media.

This experimental social influencer campaign has proven to be a great success. Kimpton recognised that hotel guests demand more authentic experiences and that commonalities and connections exist between all people. The influencers were imperative in driving extra engagement and recognition to the Kimpton brand, to their Instagram and to their campaign reach. There are enormous business benefits for the hotel: the data collected by each guest offers the brand an opportunity to really excite, stimulate and become acquainted with their clientele.

There is a stronger social media presence on Instagram today more than ever. The influencers of Instagram are likely to appeal to millennial travellers and remain relevant in the minds of on-the-go consumers. Social and mobile features are growing increasingly important for hotel brands, in particular, to provide guests with unexpected personalised services and a smooth, engaging stay.

Hotels have morphed into lifestyle brands in their own right. Here at Swayy, we work with hotels and leisure businesses in order to increase sales. If you are struggling to make quick, informed decisions on which influencers to work with, we can help you save time finding relevant, pre-vetted and professional influencers, providing all the data you need. We can resolve the inundation of collaboration request issues and guarantee that all of our influencers will deliver quality content. Examples of the types of influencers that we work with are fashion/lifestyle bloggers, experienced world travellers, professional photographers and fitness/nutrition advisors. These are all people that your future customers look up to, respect and imitate. If you would like to find out more, click here. If you are an influencer or hotel looking for your next collaboration sign up to Swayy today!

Follow and contact us on Instagram @swayy.me, the leading online influencer campaign management tool, specifically designed for the hospitality industry and for targeted hotel marketing.


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