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Expedia announces new direction in brand positioning in anticipation of post-vaccination travel demand

 

Building on its 25 years as one of the world’s leading full-service travel companies, today, Expedia Brand announces a new direction as the world prepares for the return of travel demand.

Launching a new global positioning grounded in the understanding that who you travel with matters, today marks the beginning of Expedia’s journey in becoming the ultimate travel companion, helping travellers every step of the way.

Expedia’s renewed commitment to travellers comes on the heels of what has arguably been one of the toughest years for the travel industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After months of conducting deep customer research to understand and address critical traveller pain points, the new positioning marks a pivotal moment for the brand, as it looks to overhaul its business to better cater to travellers who value maximising their time and want to get the most out of their overall travel experience.

From an updated look and feel to enhanced product offerings, Expedia is looking to double down on efforts to deliver on travellers’ evolving wants and needs in a post-pandemic world.

“For the past 25 years, we’ve been focused on volume and transactions as our way of growing our business. What we’ve found however, over the past year, is that our customers want more from a travel company. They want a trusted partner who is there with them every step of the way, supporting them to ensure they get the most out of their trips,” says senior vice president and general manager, Expedia Brand Shiv Singh.

“Like many travel brands, COVID-19 has forced us all to look inwards and reflect on who we are as a brand and what that means to our consumers. It became clear to us that in order for our travellers to have an amazing trip, it matters who they travel with, and we need to understand the important role we play in being that partner,” says Shiv.

“As travellers adjust to the new norms post-COVID, we must adjust as well, and this is just the first chapter in a multi-year journey to really deliver against our mission of being a brand that is there for travellers from start to finish.”

At the heart of the rebrand is a refresh of Expedia’s platform experience across its award-winning mobile app and more than 70 websites. The new home screens reflect a clear and simple layout, with product features that will empower travellers to build a complete trip that suits their needs and interests, bringing together multiple trip elements seamlessly. Along with the ability to purchase flights, lodging, cars, activities and more on a single platform, Expedia introduces a series of updates aligned to its brand vision of being the ultimate travel companion:

  1. Everything in one place:
    • A new itinerary experience now allows travellers to see all the details of their trip in one place, be it on the mobile app or web, saving time and making future travel planning convenient for those who recognise the value in booking all of their travel elements on a single platform.
    • Available now on the Expedia mobile app, travellers have the ability to pick up where they left off with a ‘keep planning’ feature that plays back recent searches and bookings to help travellers build a complete trip.
    • Expedia will soon be launching a new package offering that will provide ‘pre-bundled products’ (flights + accommodation + activities) with upfront total pricing, reducing the stress of sifting through thousands of options while still allowing for easy customisation such as adding or removing travel components.
  2. Support from start to finish:
    • Today‚ÄØmarks the beginning of a new journey for the evolution of the insurance offering at Expedia, which will evolve over the coming months with a vision to unlock an industry-leading‚ÄØcustomer experience. Over the course of the year, Expedia will simplify the insurance experience including translating the policy wording into easy-to-digest content, improving the process of submitting claims through clear steps on documents required as well as the status and next steps once a claim is submitted. It also means enhancing coverage, adding broader functionality and delivering value in real-time by monitoring the events of a user’s trip journey for claim eligibility.‚ÄØ
    • Expedia will continue to invest in its virtual agent platform. Through the ‘one-click cancel’ function, travellers can cancel their entire trip or ask the virtual agent questions about their itinerary, including viewing the health and hygiene information for a particular hotel for fast resolution and no wait times.
    • To help travellers discover and experience more of the destination, travellers can now see the popular activities near their accommodation on the accommodation details page. The activities will be available post-booking and in-trip to help travellers easily identify ways to continue maximising their trip.
  3. Getting the most out of every trip:
    • Today Expedia announces that its Expedia Rewards program will be simplified by merging with the existing account setup process, allowing 25 million travellers who were not already enrolled in Expedia’s loyalty program to start earning points on travel experiences the next time they log in. Expedia will be introducing additional benefits to the Expedia Rewards loyalty program over the course of the year making it easier for travellers to understand how they can earn and use points while providing a richer program offering.   
    • In an effort to help travellers find the right flight and fare type to deliver the ideal travel experience that suits their needs, Expedia recently embarked on a new flight shopping experience to provide travellers with a clear view of their flight options so they can make informed choices. Whether it's knowing if a carry-on bag is allowed or seat selection is available, these small details are incredibly important to travellers and a clear opportunity for Expedia to help customers find the best flight experience.
    • Expedia recently launched the ability to shop by lodging amenities – a first for the travel industry. Previously, many of the features included in each room rate were bundled such as parking or a complimentary breakfast, making it difficult for travellers to compare and fully understand what they were getting in their booking. Travellers can now shop with confidence as Expedia explicitly calls out the difference in pricing for amenities to take the guesswork out of what’s included in a displayed rate.

“Our new brand positioning acts as a promise to the traveller who wants to be engaged by possibilities, but now more than ever needs to feel supported throughout their journey. We know that people want to get back to travel, we want them to feel confident in the travel experience they can have with Expedia.” says Shiv.

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