Last December, as the world was hit by the second Covid wave, Little Guest offered its young customers an unforgettable moment: a personal interview with Santa Claus.
From the very first hours of the global lockdown, Little Guest took the decision not to abandon its customers. The start-up proactively assisted the many families forced to cancel their stay. In March and April 2020, Little Guest processed over €1.5 million in cancellations, a staggering amount for a hotel start-up.
Rather than give in to pessimism, Little Guest took its fate into its own hands. While selling trips was unthinkable at the time, maintaining a friendly communication with customers certainly was not impossible. With customers confined to their homes with their children, the purpose was to inspire and entertain them.
In order to do this, Little Guest decided to digitise the activities usually offered in the kids' clubs of its hotels. These activities focus on the autonomy and personal development of the child, two values that were undermined by the lockdown and that needed to be defended.
Working in collaboration with childcare specialists, Little Guest thus designed a programme of activities tailored to the children of its customers.
From Paris to London, via Brussels and Geneva, the members of the Little Guest community were able to share moments of relaxation and togetherness, far from the ambient stress.
Little Guest first created seven travel rhymes to colour in and shared them as printable PDFs at home. Each day, the children could discover the riches of our world through a new continent; a fun way to travel without leaving home. Many media outlets praised this initiative, even Le Figaro covered it!
In the weeks that followed, Little Guest organised baking workshops, craft classes, colouring competitions, kid yoga sessions and many other activities designed for the entire family. Announced via its newsletters and social networks, these activities were live on Little Guest's Instagram account and relayed on Youtube.
Through this major marketing operation, Little Guest wanted to send this message to its customers: “The world has stopped. We can no longer travel. Therefore, we have nothing to sell you. But we want you to know that you are important to us and that we will not forget you. We are here for you.”
The highlight of this campaign was operation Santa Is Calling You. Due to social distancing measures, it was impossible for children to meet Santa in real life at school, in shopping malls or in Little Guest hotels. A solution had to be found to bring back the magic of this time of the year.
Little Guest then imagined a unique action by inviting its community to participate in a great contest to meet Santa Claus from a distance.
During the second week of December 2020, this contest was announced via Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, on the Little Guest website and through a dedicated newsletter. At the end of the contest registration form, a survey invited parents to tell Santa some details about their child: favourite dessert, name of their pet or best friend, recent misdemeanour, sport played, favourite hero, etc.
Little Guest received over 1,100 entries and drew 50 lucky winners.
On Sunday 20 December 2020, five days before Christmas, Little Guest invited Santa to a specially decorated TV studio. Each winning family was given a Zoom login link and 5 precious minutes to speak to Santa personally. When they logged in with their tablet, phone or computer, each family first waited in a virtual waiting room where Little Guest commercials were shown. Then, the LONG-AWAITED MOMENT arrived and the children discovered Santa Claus, sitting by his fireplace, surrounded by presents. This was followed by a touching dialogue during which Santa would subtly distil some details of the children's lives, leaving them speechless! The children could then ask Santa their questions and share their wish list with him.
At the end of the session, customers were emailed a video of their meeting with Santa, which they could then share on social media.
The response exceeded our expectations! Children, parents and grandparents were won over by the kindness and availability of Santa Claus who invited himself into their homes through their screens. This interactive experience created a lot of laughs, tears and emotions.
This innovative operation was conceived by Little Guest's marketing department, in collaboration with the production company Disturb Studio.
Ten days later, for New Year's Eve, Little Guest created a digital greeting tree, hosted on its website. The start-up's customers and partners were invited to hang up their personalised wishes. Each visitor to the website could view the wishes already hung and read the touching messages they contained. For each wish hung, Little Guest donated €1 to a charity that helps children in need. Over 500 wishes were hung. Five wishes were drawn and the winners won a stay in one of the hotels in the Little Guest collection.
The main objective of this large-scale marketing operation was to build customer loyalty during a pandemic period when travel was prohibited. The aim was to find an original, sincere and modern communication pretext, in the image of the hotel start-up. It was important to make a lasting impression so that customers would have positive memories of Little Guest when the borders opened up again.
This goal was largely achieved, with 32% of Little Guest customers booking a new stay within 8 weeks of the borders reopening. This number rose to 61% among customers who met Santa Claus! As a result, overall sales quickly reached record levels, exceeding one million euros per month! Never before seen. So much so that Little Guest is about to close the year 2021 with a turnover of more than 6 million euros, i.e., double that recorded in 2019.
The secondary objective was to energise Little Guest's teams, whose morale had been damaged by the long months of uncertainty linked to the pandemic. The creativity and goodwill embedded in this marketing campaign - and of course the positive feedback from customers - had a beneficial effect on the mood of the employees and gave them the boost they needed to tackle the post-Covid recovery.
Already signed up? Already signed up? Already signed up? Already registered? Login here!