mark lewsey, accord marketing, cruise, travel, marketing

Accord Marketing: Creating a strategy to convince young people to take a cruise

Mark Lewsey, head of marketing at Accord Marketing, describes the benefits of using a problem-solving framework first introduced in the 1930s to cruise-related conundrums.

Are you really getting to the root of the issue? Introducing the five-why framework – a timeless and effective problem-solving exercise that puts human nature at its core – could be the solution.

First introduced in the 1930s by the founders of Toyota, the trick is to turn off the data, step outside the boardroom and keep asking ‘why’ to understand why a problem exists in the first place.

So, let’s take off our business hats and apply this thinking to the following example.

The objective is increase cruise enquiries from younger generations. The problem, meanwhile, is that these younger people often say cruising isn’t for them, perhaps stating:

  • It’s for old people
  • My mum goes on cruises
  • I can’t imagine having the same holiday taste as my parents
  • We have different interests
  • I’ve never even considered cruise as an option

Quite simply, young people don’t want to associate holidays with those of their parents’ generation. They are not necessarily basing their disinterest on their own research – it’s more of an embedded natural reaction, likely related to social credibility. They may have never even devoted the time to explore the possibilities cruising offers.

So, addressing head on the stigma that cruising is only for the over 50s is a tactic that can work when devising a marketing campaign or collateral. Centring comms around exploration, entertainment, relaxed dining and health and fitness may spark interest with younger travellers seeing the idea of a cruise from a new, fresh direction.

It might be more or less than five reasons, but essentially it’s about finding the problem behind the problem by applying empathy and step-by-step intuition, rather than organisational-skewed thinking.

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