I have determined 'Southall' as my research study. It is situated in London borough of Ealing, near Heathrow air-port. It really is well connected with major London stations via London over earth rail service. Southall is an area where more than 50% of population is from India and Pakistan or other Asian communities which is commonly called as 'little India' among the local people. That is a perfect example of diverse ethnicities, where local community from different religions and civilizations live mutually.
Some of the major destinations it offer to the site visitors such as Southall Broadway, which is the key shopping streets, where nearly every range of products from Asian community are available very easily. Variety of restaurants with multi- cuisines; magnetically attracts site visitors, as original Indian curries and country flavor is the speciality. Visitors can feel the colourful culture of Asia in initial visit to Southall.
Many Gurudwaras (Religious temples of Sikh community) are located here and they attract many visitors from various areas of London and local people as well. One of Gurudwara known as "Sri Expert Singh Sabha" (Largest Sikh temple situated outdoors India) called proud of Southall. Not merely Gurudwaras but many Hindu temples, churches and mosques are also situated here which whole atmosphere offers impression of any multi-religion community.
During many festivals Southall has its own appeal. As India is a country of celebrations and colours, multiple religions have their own ideas of celebrations and Punjabi culture is the most famous and celebrating among all. Diwali, Holi, Dussera, Vaisakhi, Guru-Purab etc. are some of the celebration times. In Southall people celebrate nowadays similarly Holiday or New Yr eve. You will discover hundreds of videos and pictures available online to get a feel of atmosphere around these special days and nights. This place is famous among all Punjabi peoples around the globe due to its exceptionality. Many Hindi, Punjabi videos and various folk artists has added much because of this hype.
While my own personal visits, I can rarely see British faces. Usually shopkeepers bargains in their local language 'Punjabi'. Influence of Punjabi in this field can be judged from Southall over floor station where English and Punjabi signposts are installed for convenience to locals. Picture below is of one of the signposts installed outside Southall over ground train station:
Courtesy: www. thelangarhall. comwp-contentuploads200808SouthallLRsign. jpg
No question about the diversified culture and landmarks situated in Southall; still there exists some lacking in its touristic popularity among non-Asian guests. While this place has many visitors attractions and interests, some techniques and marketing theories can be used to make it a more developed destination.
Through this research study and my personal observation, I'd like to provide some arguments regarding the limited level of popularity and recommendations for creativeness of the potential tourist destination (which can be a major interest for all sorts of London visitors in coming future; if worked well wisely upon market strategies).
Also I'd like to present market segmentation and general market trends tools for future years prospects of this place. Required guidelines, appropriate communication combination and distribution programs are described in the later part of this study.
Distinctiveness, Segmentation, MARKETPLACE, Market Research
Southall is exclusive and many benefits it can provide to the site visitors. 'Little India' would be used to provide various destinations to communities not only Asians but from other contest as well.
I want to provide you a view of types and cultural activities, which Southall is offering to current guests and travelers:
Southall became a personal community area in early 50's when the primary band of Asians arrived here, who was recruited to work in an area factory that was owned by an ex-British Indian Military officer. These South Asian inhabitants grew quickly, because of the convenience of occupations.
Today Southall has too much to offer to its people, I am providing few distinctive characteristics of the place which make it exceptional in conditions of visitor's experience:
Religious Places: You will discover ten Sikh Gurdwaras in Southall, one of the Gurdwaras 'Sri Guru Singh Sabha' (opened up in 2003) is one of the primary Sikh temples outside India as I've mentioned previously in advantages part. You will find two large Hindu temples, the Vishnu Hindu temple on Female Margaret Road and the Ram temple in Old Southall. Range of churches like Roman Catholic, Methodist Anglican, Baptist etc. and three Muslim community mosques, one located on Southall Broadway and other situated in Old Southall. These places give a multi-cultural and religiously divine experience jointly at one vacation spot.
Shopping and Food: Main highway in Southall is named the Broadway. Southall has major Asian shopping centre in London. Southall is also the site of the famous 'Glassy Junction' general population house, which provide lots of Indian draught beers and interesting reality to say that it gives facility to simply accept repayment in Indian currency. Southall has many famous restaurants e. g. Mirch Masala, Gifto's Madhus, Chaudhry's TKC, TKC are well-known for the Chaudhry's Tiara that includes a unique Pakistani bus for his or her business marketing. A big gas tower is also found in Southall, which really is a well known landmark and noticeable from a long distance. Southall has its local soccer team called as Southall F. C. and has an extended background, having been formed more than hundred years ago.
Courtesy: http://www. visitsouthall. co. uk/Local_Info/southall_tourist_map. php
(Mentioned map give an idea of the famous landmark locations of Southall and obvious that a diverse range of option is available to enjoy and experience here)
Music and Films: Media enjoyed a amply trained role for the attractiveness of Southall, Many Indo-British movies were setup here as firing and script locations; a few of them are Hindi film 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom', internationally applauded films 'Bend It Like Beckham' and 'Bride and Prejudice'. Couple of year's again a famous Hindi movie has been made on Southall football club called as 'Goal'. Not merely movies but volume of Punjabi music videos has been taken here and a lot of famous personalities from Indian cinema and Indian music industry accommodate themselves here. A local community radio place is providing Southall named Westside 89. 6 FM and licensed by OfCom towards community-based radio services.
Film Studio: Among the earliest British film studios 'Southall Studios' enjoyed a historical role in British isles film-making from its creation in 1924 to its closure in 1959. In 1936 a fire destroyed the studio but it was rebuilt and enlarged. Several movies featuring well-known celebrities, plus an early Television series ("Colonel March of Scotland Yard") were made at the studios together with TV and movie theater adverts. (Web resources)
Industrial Establishments: During the research, it's been found that there were many persons who made their impact as people of Southall. Otto Monsted, a Danish margarine producer, built a sizable stock at Southall in 1894. The stock also had its railway sidings and branch canal. The Maypole Dairy products Company was later obtained by Lever Brothers who, as part of the international Unilever Company, improved the site to a Wall's Sausages manufacturing plant which produced sausages and other meat products until the overdue 1970s.
Business Factor: Quaker Oats (later part of Pepsi co) built a manufacturing plant in Southall in 1936. Which later on taken by Spiller's and Big Equipment group. Engineering goods, paint, glucose puffs and food process factories are the primary business developed here. (Web resources)
These were a few of the samples from its brief background which made a direct effect for their large businesses, till this night out Southall provide a positive atmosphere for the businesses to grow, one of them is because of availability of the workforce form eastern countries.
Mentioned are some of the major sources of attraction and brief historical happenings related to the place. Southall can simply provide an amazing experience to the guests. Diverse range of activities and folks; makes it apart from London's main stream tourism. Southall provides a strong example for 'Creative Tourism' as it provides many valuable and unique experiences to the tourists.
Market Segmentation & Target Market
As we have reviewed that Southall offers a religiously enrich experience especially to Hindu and Sikh community and quantity of tourists are out of this market segmentation (Based on special community services).
Some guests are from London region who wants to have a glimpse of 'Little India' due to their special hobbies or eagerness. Searching for some Indian items e. g. clothes, food items, entertainment options, food and food products etc. also draw in folks from around as they are not easily available in other areas of city.
Market segmentation is a essential part of any tourism destination review as:
"Segmentation groups vacationers into segments based on similar characteristics. Focusing on chooses from among these sections the one or more that are likely to respond positively to a promotional communication" (Kolb, 2006: 103)
Target Market and Market Research:
Above meaning from Kolb illustrate the need of classification of the different target markets matching to their characteristics and I noticed from couple of visits about the marketplace segments who involves this place, mainly they may be;
Families- Parents using their children for shopping and leisure and to enjoy an atmosphere which relates them with their local hood.
Individual Children- who are involve in some part of companies and Southall Broadway (as part of work or to meet friends).
Old age folks from Asian (Indian & Pakistani) ethnicity- for the intended purpose of their regular or timely visit to spiritual places.
Societies of specialist passions- mainly these societies are from social perspectives who visit for their special hobbies.
Shoppers- Mainly females who are enthusiastic about Asian cultural clothing or fashion.
Domestic travelers- from Asian ethnicity, who are travelling to UK or London have their interest to visit this famous (among them) place or even to meet family or friends or scheduled to publicity created by media (Videos and music)
These are some of the major types of visitors who choose Southall as their vacation spot for various reasons as suitable. Doing a market research is necessary due to the vulnerability of travel and leisure and;
'The more an organisation is aware of its customers and possible customers - their desires and needs, their attitudes and behaviour- the better it will be in a position to design and is required to induce their purchasing decisions. ' (Middleton with Clarke, 2001)
Same categories will be the perspective Target Markets and it can be enhanced more by implementation of accurate market research and tourism marketing.
Further in next part of this case study I'd like to present the appropriate communications combine and distribution channels. Which are currently, used for campaigns of Southall also to attract guests.
Communications Combination and Distribution Channels
I have accessed a few websites available online for information on Southall and for current activities happening here but miserable part is; this place is no where suitably accessed in detail on the net, whereas on the other hands I can't find appropriate printed materials (flyers or brochures) as well. This is the key point which strikes my mind that why this place is not so famous in other areas or London site visitors and narrowed and then the local communities living here.
Present Promotional Materials:
I detected that expression to mouth is really the only active part of marketing promotions happening because of this place by local communities and this is the major reason why remaining people are keeping yourself apart to gain access to this unique destination. Why websites are not playing a very important role. When researched in detail, I came across that few websites which can be found are not actually appealing to any new breed of visitors and not many promotions are available on the air.
Few websites I've mentioned below are the only real available sources to get information (which are also not gratifying the requirement of the visitor) and I tried out to give a short synopsis about what information they contain and what's lacking as an appropriate first source of knowledge:
http://southallpride. wordpress. com/ - This website is more like a blog, where no information about the area is provided, although this web site provides of a community help provider but it focuses only on the occurrences and news happening in the certain part. I discovered about presently ongoing issues in Southall by this web site and some of them were interesting e. g. Drug peddling in Southall, Protest from the neighborhood residents against council's support regarding extreme number of gambling and drinking places. I believe these types of websites are usually more informative to the local people or folks with specific hobbies, but to a holiday.
This website can be used as a successful channel as it includes local community point of view and helps to inform residents about the hot-issues around. If publicised and regenerated with huge amount of information on positive characteristics as well, it can play a major role in development of Southall as a traveler place to tourists from all areas.
http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Southall - Wikipedia is a well known website to gain access to basic information about anything or place, however in my opinion this is also not of much interest towards visitor's regeneration in Southall. Wikipedia is including large amount of information on record, basic culture or characteristics, but if an increased level of information is necessary, it might be an adversity as it is not a trusted or trusted source of information; the reason is anyone can update or edit the information; hence authenticity of the info is a question.
My personal judgment towards this excellent website is not very supportive but nonetheless when no other sources can be found, at least this websites provides preliminary information.
http://www. visitsouthall. co. uk/ - Visit Southall is another website with less information. This site is more of any advertisement website when compared to a visitor's informative source of information. On the opening website there are variety of small adverts from local businesses and an extremely short note describes Southall. Other comparative links takes through different options e. g. businesses, hotels, shopping, restaurants etc. a few of them are of help plus some not. This website is more like a local directory site with address and telephone numbers mentioned onto it by various business links. This website, as the hyperlink says 'Visit Southall' can be considered a medium for providing all sort of information and visible material to entice more visitors. But as this amazing site is terribly made; it is of not much use. It requires a complete makeover and can be quite successful if different items like pictures, visible images, music or other attractive mediums added to it. Further it needs publicity after various social networking websites or advertising campaign through several other media programs.
Thereafter I attempted to concentrate on the future prospective in terms of marketing elements to be used to advertise Southall as a unique place for guests from all over.
I assume that by now this article has justified the uniqueness of Southall and also provided a sense of experience you can get by browsing. Being diverse and such culturally enriched, still there are extensive factors and disadvantages which discontinued it to increase and reach to the visitor's checklist. In further part of this report I would like to suggest few components of communications mix to aid from marketing perspective.
There are certain requirements for marketing. If Southall needs to improve and rise up as a tourism destination, it is necessary to implement talked about elements:
It's the process of communicating the visitor the image of the vacation spot, along with features, benefits it provides (Kolb, 2006, 219)
In my judgment every successful vacation spot has its branding and it actually affect the number of visitors. Branding really helps to clarify the destination's personality and better branding works as a powerful tool on individuals mind and provides to its visitor a sense of speciality.
But question arise what are the various tools to be utilized as branding? In brief they contain slogans, logos, icons and imagery. It is vital these tools must symbolize a theme and relates to the destination. In case of Southall, it includes number of situations and festivals which may be easily used as a tool of branding events and can be helpful for its recognition.
"the key to creating a brand is usually to be in a position to choose a name, logo, symbol, deal design, or other attribute that identifies something and distinguishes it from others" (Hem and Iversen, 2004)
Along with branding Southall requires excellent degree of advertising, as after making a brand it must disseminate to point of contact with future visitors or potential consumers.
Advertising: is without a doubt a biggest tool for promotion, whether product is tangible or intangible. In conditions of attractiveness, Southall definitely require an advertising coverage in which diversified culture, colourful atmosphere, delightful food and a great many other specialities can be advertised as unique experiences.
Advertising is a tool which is made up of perfect communications mixture for advertising, and it can reach out to mass alternatively than personal selling or someone to one relationships. Although each tool have its limitations and constraints, however in my thoughts and opinions Southall can become superior vacation spot by the assistance of appropriate branding and advertising. Advertising has various characteristics and it can affect mentioned categories:
Persuade clients (Visitors) for product (Vacation spot)
Keep bonding with existing customers
Spread recognition among mass population
Keeps increasing the reputation for the product
Can be used through various mediums at once (TV, Press, Posters, Web Adverts etc. )
Influential and less frustrating compared to personal relations
Further Advertising can be researched and allocated, as it should represent consciousness, interest, goal or desire (outcome of advertising) must be decided and action to be made relating to condition's demand. This theory is defined as AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
Employing Advertising with Southall: Mentioned are the few beneficial tips by advertising. I am not denying the use of other communications mix but according to the situation and positioning of Southall, I strongly assume that Advertising and Branding can help at major levels. Even though some more techniques like; personal selling, public relations or sales support etc. may also be added and put into practice all together but feasibly these other techniques or tools can be employed by the success or failing of an individual tool.
London is a massive city which accommodates numerous culture and people; by personal experience, I could say that this is one of the most diversified cities on earth. If we check out London's own private selling and vacation spot marketing, London has made a tag which is a perfect example for the rest of the world. London has proven a tremendous success as it pertains for 'branding a city'. This must be considered a reason why London offers such diversified areas and locations inside its own territory. London seems to be a tiny continent with such vast comparison and variety among its own people and places.
Southall, which was raised and categorised itself as a particular community location, needs special attention. Even when we apart Asian community's shades, still it has got many other hobbies and attractions. When we add both; diverse ethnic experience using its elegance; it generates an alternative level experience because of its visitors.
It consists of many characteristics and attractions, which really is a perfect mixture of enrich distinctiveness. Future target marketplaces and research we've reviewed to get a synopsis before execution of any marketing planning.
How websites or other mass media are helpful and where areas they are lacking behind, we have observe from few examples.
What attract people and how to reach out to distinctive and new consumers we argued in the later part.
I assume that Southall is representing an important part of diverse London. Although it has been misinterpret by people and other areas but it has got a potential to be an iconic and one of the must visit places.
By my observations and research I came across that there is some lacking of appropriate marketing strategy towards its level of popularity. If council, private organisations and communities of this place support one another, Southall can be added in undivided parts of London's famous places.
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