Go+Wander is a bespoke experience provider offering urban treasure hunt and personalized adventure vacations for friends who want to spend time together, reconnect and enjoy new experiences.
Opportunity, secondary research, pain points, problem statement, findings, and the insights.
Value proposition, app features, supporting materials, the weekend experience and how it works.
Target segment and its characteristics, market landscape, customer persona and competitive analysis.
Business plan, KPIs, go-to-market strategy, customers acquisition plan and production roadmap.
Key assumptions, financial statements, projections, expense sheets, risk factors, funding and valuation.
As millennials have advanced in their careers, they have also grown more and more apart from their close friends. Despite the proliferation of social media apps and work-based friendships, many have relocated to new cities and now live far from their closest friends, often made in childhood or in school. In fact, 65% of millennials do not live in the same city as their closest confidantes. Reconnecting with these special people in person is challenging due to the amount of time and effort it takes to plan a trip to be together. On the occasion that they do get together, they have difficulty planning new activities that will create new memories and reinvigorate and renew their close relationship.
A Friendship Crisis in America
Millennials: Young, successful, busy…and isolated.
Americans with no close friends has tripled since 1985. This is often as a result of relocation, an increased hyper focus on career growth and social isolation. - Linkedin Survey
Americans with no close friends
are the ones that
matter the most
In addition, a 2013 study showed that those with more close friends are happier and more satisfied with their lives than those with few or no close friends.
Millennials and the Travel Industry
According to the United Nations, 200,000 million millennial tourists generate more than $180 billion in annual tourism revenue, an increase of nearly 30% since 2007. Millennials have become the dominant drivers of the leisure travel market. According to a study by Portrait of American Travelers, millennials:
Take more incremental trips, average more vacations, and spend more money than any other generation.
Spent $50.4 billion on 36.9 million trips in the 12 months leading up to June 2017
$4,594 annually on vacations, with an average of $1,312 on each vacation.
More than other generations, Millennials (44%) think travel agents are worth spending on.
Are experience-obsessed and therefore are more inclined to travel for an authentic and memorable experience.
Are heavily influenced by friends, families and influencers via social media and crowd-sourced review sites.
Seek to interact with nature, experience culture, and enjoy the “real thing,” not something orchestrated for tourists.
Our research revealed that many millennials do not live in the same city as their close friends. In order to connect with them, they have to travel to visit each other, or take trips together. This critical fact led us to explore the travel space with our target customers in mind. Travel and tourism is one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors, with bookings hitting close to $1.6 trillion in 2017. Within the travel industry, commission is usually the major source of revenue for retail travel agents, wholesalers, inbound tourism operators and visitor centers.
How might we provide busy, career-focused millennials with a planned time to connect in a meaningful and enjoyable way with their friends?
We conducted primary research to learn the pain points of our customers as well as validate our offering. We did two surveys with 163 respondents which validated a lot of our assumptions, as well as revealed new insights. We also spoke to 21 individuals over the phone and in-person.
To validate our solution and gauge user interest in our offering, we created a MailChimp campaign and sent it out to 201 recipients via email. The open and click through rate, along with the number of sign-ups validated the user interest in such a solution.
"I’ve deepened my friendships by traveling together. Sharing real problems and experienced advice on how we might tackle them. Also — having a crisis moment that tests the friendship, and discovering that your love for each other trumps moments of anger, brutal honesty, and self-absorption."
"I’ve found...that it’s important to keep sharing new experiences together. Meeting up for a drink/coffee/quick dinner once in a while is fine, but if that’s all you do then you’re not sharing any new experiences together then your friendship ends up just being based on the past. Going to a movie, sports game, meeting up to play bball or golf, whatever - keeps the friendship growing and relevant."
Many appreciate surprise and spontaneity in their experiences.
Felt closer to their friends when they shared a new experience together.
Rely on bars and restaurants as their main location for connection with others.
Many found it challenging to decide the itinerary or logistics of a trip, especially when multiple people were involved. The burden tends to fall on one person to plan their time together.
Technology and social media can help maintain close friendships, but many felt it’s not enough.
Trips taken with friends are primarily about local explorations, doing some activity with friends and partying/having fun.
Personalization and customization: Being able to customize their itineraries is a priority,
especially when traveling in groups of varying interests.
Go+Wander provides personalized game-based adventure vacation packages for friends who want to stay connected through new experiences together but don’t like to spend hours of valuable time researching, coordinating and planning their activities.
Unlike other vacation experience planners, who offer group tours and generic tourist excursions, Go+Wonder creates a bespoke experience that delivers delightful discovery and exciting activities to our clients while they explore their destination city. Go+Wander offers convenience, fun and a new way to share experiences with friends.
Our aim with the Go + Wander adventure is to curate an experience full of activities that encourage friends working together, and sharing more in order to foster a deeper connection.
Go + Wander Discovery Deck is an integral part of our weekend experience. The Discovery Deck is provided to the group of friends on Day 1 along with a bottle of champagne prompting them to play this out early on in the journey. The deck consists of 25 cards and has a mix of casual and intimate questions. According to our research, mutual vulnerability fosters closeness.
Our goal to encourage deeper connections between the friends extends beyond the adventure we provide. After each vacation, every member of the group is sent a photo memory book from our partner, Chatbooks. The book contains photos they have uploaded via our app to Instagram, as well as photos our staff has taken of them on their adventure. The book is a 5x5 velvet softcover high quality book with 60 photographs and provides a lovely memory for the group to further solidify their friendship bond.
Website and Mobile App
The main purpose of the website is to attract and inform users about our offering. Users can create an account and sign up for a weekend by inviting friends, selecting trip preferences and paying through the website. We allow the users to tell us their preferences so we can curate a trip customized to their needs however there will always be a “Surprise Me” or “Be A Local” option.
Our market focus is on an affluent segment of the Millennial population called the HENRYs (high-earning-not-rich-yet). This demographic is referred to as HENRYs, an acronym for “High Earners, Not Rich Yet”
It is a market segment made up of mostly millennials and Gen X’ers who are on the road to affluence. They earn approximately $1.2 million more than 75-80% of their peers. Within this group there is a distinct segment we are targeting: millennial and younger Gen-X HENRYs, aged 24-44 years with no dependents.
HENRYs have an annual income average of $175,000 but have yet to amass inevitable assets of $1 million. About 13% (27 million) of U.S. households are HENRY households, with an average of $214,000 in assets and an income between $100,000 and $250,000. Millennial HENRYs average $86,000 in annual discretionary spending per household and love to shop online.
HENRYs number around 25 million US consumers.
They are the most important new consumer segment in today’s post-recession economy
Their incomes are higher than 80 percent of all U.S. households and range from $100,000 to $250,000.
They are the gatekeepers for the future luxury consumer market.
Millennial HENRYs in particular spend around $86K annually on discretionary items.
They prefer to spend their money on experiences and are active on the Internet.
Millennial HENRYs (25-35 years old) (High Earning Not Yet Rich)
Desire new experiences and prefer them over material goods
Want scheduling time spent with friends to be easy
Are avid users of social media
Have friends who share the same desires and interests
Are willing to pay more for a premium experience
Over the past five years, the number of HENRY households has increased by 23.1 percent, five times faster than the national average, which increased only 3.9 percent in the same time period.
We decided to focus our initial efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Annual total visitors to the Bay Area number around 24.6 million
Visitors’ average daily spend is $356
85.6% of visitors visit for leisure / vacation
190,000 millennial travelers visit the Bay Area annually for family visits, business, and leisure activities
Willingness to Pay
$200 billion directly and $500 billion indirectly, due to the influence on the spending of their mostly baby boomer parents. there are currently 11.8 million Millennials age 18-30 living in U.S. households with annual incomes exceeding $100,000. In fact, research from FutureCast shows that nearly one quarter of U.S. adults making an annual household income of more than $500,000 are millennials.
Affluent millennial travelers are looking for luxury accommodations with great amenities. They also want personalized touches that make each trip unique and memorable. As an example in the travel space, San Francisco Bay Area HENRYs spend a whopping $6.6 billion on travel annually, including:
$2.2 billion on air fares
$1.8 billion on lodging
$1.6 billion on food and beverages
$620 million on out-of-town entertainment
$100 million on local transportation on out-of-town trips
Total Addressable Market
74% of trips taken in the US are for Leisure. 13% of Households are HENRYs. We are looking to target Bay Area Leisure travelers who are Millennial HENRYs. Affluent travelers spend around $3,000 annually. However, this number is conservative, because Millennial HENRYs spend $86,000 annually on discretionary funds and are spending more on experiences. Our Total Addressable Market would be $2.1 Billion annually. For Year 0 we our Beachhead targets those who specifically are looking for travel agents within our total addressable market.
We identified five top competitors who are addressing the different needs of our customers. Thomas Cook and Packup N Go are specifically travel focused, semi-personalized and cost-inclusive. Camp No Counselors can be categorized as a weekend getaways but with no customization, and a one-solution-fits-all model. Airbnb Experiences is an activity marketplace and Watson Adventures is a themed game, but lasts only for a few hours. Although Go+Wander does compete with each of these companies over certain aspects of our value proposition, none offer the unique combination of services that we do.
For people who want to stay connected with their close friends, Go+Wander offers personalized, urban adventure vacation packages. Unlike our competitors, our service delivers an end-to-end curated experience complete with a treasure hunt, surprise elements and exclusive activities just for friends
Our key differentiator is our innovation in the way that urban travel is experienced with friends. We are not simply a marketplace for experiences. We are both an adventure game and experiential vacation. We carefully curate the activities we offer and vet all our partners. In addition, we maintain an element of surprise by personalizing activity options and revealing them to our customers as they participate in the Go+Wander Adventure.
Finally, we surpass the scavenger hunt game offered by Watson Adventures by elevating the game from solving puzzles and limited exploration to a real-life treasure hunt that takes them all over the city and rewards them with unexpected and decadent experiences like racing cars, courtside seats at a basketball game, helicopter rides, elite cooking classes, exclusive wine tastings and private concerts with celebrity musicians.
Go + Wander provides personalized game-based adventure vacation packages for friends who want to stay connected through new experiences together but don’t like to spend hours of valuable time researching, coordinating and planning their activities. Unlike other vacation experience planners, who offer group tours and generic tourist excursions, Go + Wonder creates a bespoke experience that encourages friends to solve puzzles together while enjoying surprising and fun activities and exploring an entire city.
Customers want to travel with friends who share the same desires and interests
Customers want adventure, fun and discovery experiences
Customers need a nice place to stay
Customers want it to be easy
Customers need to eat and drink along the way
Customers want instagrammable moments
Customers want to enjoy and are comfortable with reality TV elements
Customers want downtime / white space in the day
Our strategy for financing is to look for external investment, primarily focusing on equity funding from super angels or VC firms. We aim to have some basic traction before we start looking for investment. Prior to which we will be bootstrapping and be able to generate some traction which will be in terms of number of successful one-day pilot weekends, partners signed and pre-sales. Kickstarter would be an ideal platform for us to generate and gauge user interest on top of making these pre-sales.
We will get 400 unique groups of friends in Year 1 based on the 4% conversion (travel industry average) rate from our website.
Our marketing efforts in Year 0 will allow us to have 27 groups buy vacations in the first quarter of Year 1. While this may seem ambitious, we have a lot of marketing endeavors where no vacations are available for 6 months prior to selling packages. The busiest travel time is spring and summer (according to travel industry trends), thus we added additional growth in Q2 and Q3 of Year 1.
An annual growth rate of 10% based on promotional weekends, word of mouth and marketing (costs of 15% of our gross revenue).
We increase this growth rate in year 3 and year 5, due to expansion into new cities, estimating the same number of customers as we estimated in San Francisco for our first year.
We expect repeat customers and new customers in each new cities due to promotional parties. In Year 3 we are expanding into 2 more cities (New York City and Los Angeles) in Year 5 we are expanding into another 3 cities (Las Vegas, Miami, and Chicago).
10% our users will want our luxe upgrade (based on interviews).
Half the number of groups or 14% of our customers will want to purchase the Discovery card deck (estimate).