Virgin Holidays

Finding the hidden drivers of holiday purchase

The challenge

Innovationbubble were tasked to explore three areas in relation to improving customer experience and marketing engagement, via behavioural intervention:

  1. Why customers have a  perpetual need for holiday ‘hunting’ and how that could be better managed
  2. How do customers perceive the major holiday brands and what does loyalty mean in this current market
  3. What factors in the post-holiday journey influence holiday searching


How we helped


We conducted psychological interviews with customers from 4 segments to understand each group’s needs, values and emotional journeys when searching and choosing a Holiday (and a Provider).


The insights revealed in the interviews were quantified and verified using our bespoke non conscious behavioural screening engine, EMOTIX© tool and tested with over 700 customers.


Our findings


Results confirmed that the initial client assumptions only partly explained customers needs and behaviour in relation to holiday purchase. Our research found 5 undiscovered factors that influence consumers purchase decisions in the holiday sector. Some of the insights included:


  • The holiday provider can play a big role in maintaining the customer’s’ ego and managing their reputation in front of family and peers. High ego and need for control customers actively enjoy searching for holidays online as finding a suitable holiday is a badge of success, an indicator of intelligence and a token of achievement among the holiday group. Making the holiday search easy or frictionless takes away value for the customer as their is no value to them in terms of the effort they had to make (and can later boast about).
  • Hunting for holidays is a hobby for many, it keep the excitement alive and operates as an escape from daily life (adding positive emotional vitamins to the humdrum of normal life).


New findings such were then employed to develop new communication styles and to reposition the client’s digital, marketing and sales outputs to engage with these non conscious needs. The resultant changes contributed to a reported £2,000,000 new profit margin for the client.