In the middle of a hectic work week, who hasn’t dreamed of trading their commute for a rustic retreat in the woods? Tethered to our devices and reachable at any moment, sometimes we just need to ditch it all and kick back Thoreau-style. At least, that’s the travel marketing premise Getaway founders Jon Staff and Pete Davis rallied investors around, raising about $37.5 million in Series A and B funding since the company’s founding in 2015.
With its network of cabins across the country, all located near major cities, Getaway serves couples, friend groups, and families trying to escape from the grind of city life—even if just for a few days. Through simple and relatable messaging, the company is putting a new twist on travel marketing, and winning over a millennial audience along the way.
A salve for the overconnected and overworked
Millennials love a lot of things—avocado toast, subscription services, not buying houses—but self-care products may top the list. From bath bombs to CBD, the $10 billion industry revolves around the mid-20s to late-30s age bracket, a demographic that spends over twice as much as baby boomers on these products and services.
Getaway has tapped into travel marketing by making the genius, if obvious, connection that the same people investing thousands in houseplants and setting timers to limit their social media usage may be interested in connecting with nature in a more authentic way.
Through wordplay like “a day off for the always on,” Getaway speaks to the burnout in all of us. “We believe in building balance into modern life—taking the time to rest and unplug from the daily hustle and to focus on ourselves, our relationships, and the wonder of nature,” reads its website. This idea of balance undoubtedly resonates with self-care-obsessed millennials.
Getaway also connects with its young audience through social media. Sure, there’s a cell phone lockbox in each cabin, but they’re so hip, trendy, and Instagram-friendly that guests can’t help but snag a #latergram photo of their weekend getaway. And with most customers under 40, this thoughtful approach to travel marketing seems to be paying off.
A recipe for lasting success
Work isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, with much of the nation stuck at home, the workday has gotten an estimated 48.5 minutes longer for the average American. As long as people keep working, they’ll keep vacationing—meaning Getaway is here to stay.
Despite being more expensive than a campground, Getaway offers a justification for its price tag. They’re not an indulgence but a necessity. Like other self-care brands, Getaway lets customers know that spending money on a vacation doesn’t just mean a fun, relaxing weekend. Rather, it provides a chance to “disconnect to reconnect,” or help people feel recharged and energized so they can show up in other areas of their lives.
Getaway’s blog, referred to as “The Journal,” drives this messaging home. It features Recipients of Rest: guests selected to enjoy a free stay as a thank you for their advocacy work in their communities. In highlighting these recipients (not to mention the donations they make to One Tree Planted with every booked stay), Getaway positions itself as a socially conscious company. Its travel marketing messaging does the convincing so customers can start enjoying—and easily make the case to book another trip in a few months.
MarketSmiths Case Study
A Minneapolis-based manufacturer of high-end copper products, World Coppersmith was constantly expanding its offerings, from bathtubs to tabletops to cookware. But all these products needed pithy, engaging product descriptions, especially to differentiate World Coppersmith from more established competitors. MarketSmiths soon jumped in to help, learning about each product and discussing performance features with World Coppersmith experts. From there, we got down to writing the descriptions in sparkling language, polishing the client’s brand statement, and supplying answers to a strong set of FAQs. Once we were done, World Coppersmith was ready to parade its products to a new audience—and boost its brand in a crowded market.
A brand that’s easy to love
At age 25, Getaway CEO and Co-Founder Jon Staff decided that after a few years of building startups, he was burnt out—and ready for a getaway himself. Borrowing the Airstream that his friend’s friend lent him, Staff spent five months travelling the country. After starting graduate school at Harvard, Jon and his fellow co-founder, Pete Davis, launched Getaway for people just like them.
At a moment where popular sentiment is turning against tech brands for not respecting our boundaries—exploiting our data, habits, and psychology—Getaway distances itself from these practices. The company is interested in helping us use technology less, not more. Although many Americans are distrustful of corporate intentions, Getaway is hard to hate.
As Davis told the Washington Post, “People are discovering that they’re tired of more stuff and more thrills.” Instead of trying to sell us either, Getaway offers to remove us from it all—our jobs, our cities, our stuff—and getting better acquainted with the things that matter. That’s a promise millennials can get behind.
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