Storytelling pays dividends for Club Med

A shift in brand strategy has helped to fuel an ambitious expansion phase for Club Med in Australia’s region according to the company’s general manager of Australia and New Zealand Madeleine Clow.

“We have lots of activity planned moving towards 2020, so places like the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam are all in the pipe,” Clow said.

“We’ve got 100 projects planned for Asia alone.”

The driver for this growth, the company believes, has been an increased emphasis on tailored experiences for guests.

“We can never compete on a price level because we offer a really good all-inclusive product as opposed to booking a hotel for a night on, so we went down the storytelling angle and really started bringing experiences to life for the Australian market instead,” Clow said.

“We looked at somewhere like the Maldives which wasn’t even on the cards and then we examined the trends and we realised that surfing was massive, and we had the opportunity to integrate surfing lessons and we changed the product — now the Maldives is a bigger destination for us than Thailand.”

The approach appears to have boosted Club Med’s balance sheet, with the group growing its Australia and New Zealand market share by 50% over the last three years, and plans in place to achieve the same goal over the next three years.

With the new upmarket and immersive strategy in place, communicating the value of its model to the trade remains a big focus for the company which is currently running several initiatives to ensure agents have the tools needed to sell the brand effectively.

“One thing we have done is create a travel agent portal, an online site where agents can go and get all the resources they need. They can download banners, grab Facebook ads, get product information and that is there for anybody who wants to further develop their skills,” Clow said.

“We now also have seven in-store boutiques, places which give agents the right type of infrastructure to help them sell and by partnering they are in line to get better commissions, earlier access to deals and increased education and training.”

Club Med launched its 2019 packages on 31 January.