Kanye and Travel

Should I be surprised that most people I talk to about Kanye’s new travel venture – aka a Kanye-branded entryway into Travelocity – think it is a bit of a stretch? Most of the people I talked to are at least Gold Status business travelers who rely on corporate travel agents to handle their travel plans, and I am doubtful Kanye is after that crowd anyways. I am a huge Kanye fan (David’s a Jay-Z guy), and I have long respected the way he handles his brand. Yeah, his arrogance turns some people off, but his words have always served to take him to new levels. Job well done in my opinion. I can forget about his foray into search engines… most people don’t even know about that Kanye brand extension. And although the idea of travel is totally in line with his jet setting global lifestyle, why put his well established brand at risk by aligning with an industry that has proven to disappoint like no other?

Update:  NYTIMES:   Flight Chaos Shows Passengers Have No Rights.

In my opinion, it should be an issue of control for Kanye. Any fan of Kanye knows he is a total control freak (in a good way). There is absolutely nothing Kanye can do to keep a flight from getting cancelled. Or a hotel from overbooking. For someone who is so notoriously hands-on, I am surprised that he would ‘co-sign‘ for the travel industry, an industry he has zero control of. Richard Branson knows a thing or two about branding and travel, and perhaps does it better than anyone. Check his commentary on brand experiences:

“A brand is more than a name or logo – it is a contract with every customer with whom you are dealing. And if people feel that the offering does not live up to what they expect from the brand, they will decide to stop buying.”

A Better Idea?
I love the fact that Kanye is encouraging his fans to get out and see the world. But why try to own the transaction? Why even be associated with the transaction? With all of his travels, why not create a Kanye-flavored travel guide, loaded with tips, reviews, shopping insights, video, blogs, etc. from Kanye and his crew? Kanye’s reviews, Don C’s shopping guide and Ibn’s guide to traveling in style, and tips for what to do in each city his on his tour. He can sell ads, sponsorships, integrations, and stay for free forever! Fans could contribute their own commentary. Kanye retains his control, expands his community, visitors are satisfied, and Kanye can rake in millions in revenue from brands vs. $30 per transaction from what will no doubt be just a few bookings through his site. There are better ways to monetize his lifestyle. Travel bookings are not the way.

Kanye, when you are ready to launch this venture, give us a call 🙂 We can definitely help.

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