Concept Development / Trend Research / Target Group / Living & Leisure

Tilburg is a city full of possibilities. It is a vibrant city with a very young population. It is a city full of culture, especially in the music scene. From all over the country, people visit Tilburg for their events or concerts. Unfortunately, they don’t have a place to spend the night that matches their needs. Naomi van der Zwan and Marc de Roover decided to change that and build a hostel where those people can stay. They were sure of their plans what the hostel is going to look like, but they needed a way to make sure it was really connected to the city of Tilburg and its inhabitants and to able to welcome guests that are not sleeping at the hostel. They just weren’t sure how to do this. This report has been written on behalf of Naomi and Marc, to solve this problem.

Multiple analyses have been conducted to get a good view on the target group, Plug-Inn as a brand, developments within the sectors Living and Leisure and upcoming trends.

A survey filled in by students and international students showed that there was a definite need of a cozy, fun place to hang with friends or to make new friends,. Especially the international students were looking for ways to connect with more people in Tilburg. The Dutch students were also very open to meeting new people. Both of the groups of students came across the problem that they don’t have much money to spend. The analysis of Plug-Inn showed that the whole identity was focused solely on the staying overnight-part of the hostel. Now, it carries out a home, instead of a place to stay overnight. A home is much more than just a bed.

The sectoranalysis mainly showed that people are more and more involved in what’s going on in their country and city. They participate in and even initiate new ideas and activities to improve their lives and the lives of people around them.

The most relevant trend that will be expanding in the future is the trend Escapism. Research showed that people are looking for a way to escape the hassle of everyday life. They want to be able to have fun and not think about everything going on in their lives. Plug-Inn has the opportunity to make that happen.

All the outcomes of the analyses have been linked together in a valuefit, designed to create a solution of an opportunity for the target group, in this case (international) students. This valuefit showed that Plug-Inn can be a home for people visiting Tilburg, but also for people living in Tilburg. Plug-Inn can provide a cozy place where guests can hang out and be with (new) friends. To carry out this message, there has been thought of a statement: ‘Thuiskomen.’ The word thuiskomen is similar to ‘coming home’ in English. It captures the feeling of coming home: being able to be yourself, always being welcome and the cozy atmosphere there always is. To bring this statement to real life, a co-creation session was organized. The participants were a good mix of the target group, concept thinkers, entrepreneurs and students. All the ideas generated in that session came together in two concepts: Huisbazen (landlords) and het Eethuis (eating home). Through a concept testing, the second concept was chosen: Eethuis.

The Eethuis is a place where students, inhabitants of Tilburg and guests of the hostel can come to have a meal. It is not comparable to a fancy restaurant: there won’t be great waiters, luxurious cutlery and a big variety of choices. The Eethuis is a one-meal restaurant, where there is a different dish every night, but only one. Everyone will eat at one big table, meeting people you would never meet if you wouldn’t have come to Eethuis. The concept will be a combination of good food, a low price and a lot of coziness and comfort. The ingredients will be from local farmers, which is not only good for the economy, but also good for the environment as ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables will be used.