We’ve all heard the grim forecasts, we’re well aware of the handwringing concerns as all over the world today, businesses have their eyes peeled on global inflation rates and talk centres around weathering through the next couple of years.

Due to an increase in food and energy prices globally, the International Monetary Fund expects global inflation to reach as high as 6.6% in advanced economies, while in emerging markets, rates are expected to reach 9.5% in 2022.

It is no surprise then that the current global economic climate is one of wait-and-see; individuals as well as businesses are tightening their collective belts and keeping costs down to tide over this and the next year, where the global economy is set to decline by 2.6% and 2% respectively.

The statistics are daunting indeed. However, as with every downturn in life, there is hope and an opportunity to reach out for the silver lining that this storm cloud presents.

Rather than weathering through the maelstrom alone, companies are turning towards partnerships and collaborations to tide through this rough patch.

Business experts, as well as academics, have come to recognise a global phenomenon that has emerged from the scourge of the pandemic and its similarly odious sibling, the current economic downturn – and that is, the opportunity to collaborate and innovate.

Co-Creation: The mother of innovation

Co-Creation with Clients

The current business economic has brought about a surprising twist in business-customer relations. Indeed, there has never been a better time than now to tap into your business’ pool of customers and clients to hear from them.

This kind of community-centred approach to marketing not only provides direct feedback on the services your business provides, but especially in the tourism and hospitality industry, it generates useful insights to businesses on how you can improve on your current offerings to innovate and expand your horizons.

Not only would this keep you abreast with your target markets’ evolving interests, it is a direct method of keeping up with trends in the consumption patterns of your customers, with information straight from the horses’ mouths at a reduced cost and timescale.

Co-Creation through Partnership

Collaborating with your customers in your target markets would require the flexibility of being able to cater to their language needs by creating content in multiple languages, while maintaining your bottom-line with your key stakeholders.

You can do this by building a partnership with a professional translation agency that will not only help you translate, but transcreate – thus reducing the cost of hiring in-house translators who may not have the necessary skills nor the collective know-how of a well-established transcreation company.

Open Innovation and its impact on hotel and hospitality

According to Forbes, open innovation is “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively.” 

In simpler terms, open innovation allows for input from external sources to be inculcated into one’s business strategy, through a win-win process of collaboration. In the section above, we have seen how collaboration can take place with one’s very own clients, as well as in partnerships with external vendors such as transcreation professionals to enhance the company’s standing in the business world.

These ideas and resources stem from outside of the company, with collaborators who provide nuanced information and a fresh perspective on trends, to provide guidance for the future direction of the business.

In the travel and hospitality industry specifically, one is especially in need of this outside perspective, as fresh ideas can help the industry tackle the perennial issues of cross-cultural communication.

This can be done through accessing the wealth of knowledge and expertise external specialists provide. They have developed specific insights on their target markets over years of gathering information and experience, which will help give your business the edge it needs to innovate with a wider marketing reach.

In a post-pandemic global economy, relying on age-old techniques within your business alone may no longer be sufficient.

The very pandemic itself has demonstrated the need for open innovation, as seen in the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, which took place at an unprecedented rate. This was the outcome of open innovation among scientists and nations and collaboration at a global scale.

Building bridges, serving the needs of the people

The hotel and hospitality business centres around one very important theme – providing exceptional service to people.

Indeed, the industry was formed on the basis of catering to the needs of the intrepid travellers, all the more so today, as travel and tourism grinds back into gear after a painful hiatus. This time, however, travellers are weary not from travelling itself but the ennui stemming from an inability to quench their wanderlust these past couple of years.

What's more, there is a greater, more urgent desire to reach out across cultures, as the world recognises that we’re pretty much all in this together.

In many ways, the pandemic has built bridges across societies by taking us into the living rooms of people across the world, through social media, e-commerce and enhanced online telecommunications such as cloud-based video conferencing.

The time is therefore ripe now, for reaching out to markets that previously may have seemed challenging to access.

Finding the right partner for a fruitful collaboration

Now that we can see the importance of open innovation in the hospitality industry, what should we look out for when finding an ideal partner in co-creation?

Here are some pointers as you begin your journey:

  • Pick a few collaborative partners whose services speaks to the immediate needs of your clients
  • Look at their profile to suss out the extent of their marketing outreach. This is most evident on their digital platforms, be it websites, blogs or LinkedIn outreach
  • If they provide subscriptions, join them to get to know these companies better
  • Establish a relationship with these potential industry partners by reaching out to them via email and arranging for video conferencing meetings if necessary, to get a better idea of the benefits of engaging their services
  • Find a collaborative partner whose values align with service excellence and a solid strategy that ultimately benefit end customers.

Whether your business is weathering through a global crisis or not, an excellent open innovation partner that will equip your business to reach out across languages and cultures globally is a plus in any kind of marketing strategy, digital or otherwise.

The massive potential that transcreation (creative translation) and localisation has in forging communities across continents can take your business to the next level that it needs to go, while creating more value for your brand.

The pandemic has provided us with the opportunity to innovate through collaboration, to build bridges and in turn, a better world – and what better place to start than in the hospitality and tourism industry.

While doing so, not only do we now have the potential to create long-lasting B2B relationships, we unlock hidden potential in our businesses to innovate, especially since, as the Harvard Business Review asserts, the times call for it.

Here is a massive opportunity to take care of one another, not just in business partnerships but partnerships that will help enhance the global community as a whole.

Now is the best time for transcreation

While the costs for transcreation services continue to remain competitive, this is the time to start transcreating for a better world.

Partnering with a transcreation agency like IPPWORLD will provide your business and brand with the ability to dive into markets that may have previously been hard to reach, both culturally and linguistically.

With our experts that create customised content and focus on streamlined marketing strategies to cater to localised markets, we bring a full suite of transcreation (creative translation) and localisation services to any collaborative experience.

As the world heals from everything the past few years has churned out, from #metoo to #BLM to Covid-19, co-creation - and quite possibly transcreation - can be the very balm that people need to move forward together as a global community.