BTHR first noticed a gap in the luxury vacation resort market in Phuket, and wanted to tap into this market with a value proposition of reduced but affordable luxury vacation resort. Strategic brand management was thus vital. Having targeted a distinct segment market, Banyan Tree experienced the first-mover edge amongst its challengers. But it was its steadiness in delivering its brand promise that led to word-of-mouth tips on "Banyan Tree experience" dispersing quickly.
Also, to ensure uniformity and continuity in brand building, BTHR centralised its long-term marketing strategy and even allocated marketing budget to both its consumers and wholesalers. In the same way, BTHR made an attempt to maintain good connections with the governments and local areas, which contributed to its strong brand in Asia.
Within a couple of years, BTHR was awarded numerous international honors and accolades, and it effectively capitalised on these honours and accolades to develop its brand equity quickly.
Valuable : With its careful brand management and consistent brand delivery to its guests, brand loyalty was made. This enabled a premium charge and made international extension possible. In addition, its first-mover advantages made it tough for its rivals to match its success.
Rare : Being the first vacation resort to give a luxury accommodation with romance, intimacy, level of privacy and rejuvenation, it managed to distinguish itself from its rivals. Furthermore, it could be seen that BTHR gets the capability to build strong customer-based brand collateral, as few of its rival firms can relate to this proposition of love and intimacy.
Costly-to-imitate : It really is almost impossible to emulate BTHR's brand as much capabilities over the value chain added to its success - its first-mover gain, tactical brand image/setting, impressive and exclusive service by Banyan staff, and considerable marketing.
Non-substitutable : There is no doubt that lots of resorts were targeting the luxury superior market, however, do not require are perfect substitutes of Banyan Tree. Likewise, the strong brand equity and human work BTHR had put into building it is not easily replicable.
II. Development Resources : Product Differentiation and High Quality Service
BTHR's capacity to innovate led to its ability to produce product differentiation and high quality service, which held customers returning. It differentiated its offering by being the first in Asia to look at the concept of a "non-clinical" garden spa with an oriental feel. Also, BTHR placed emphasis on the interior dcor and facilities of the villas to enhance the "Banyan Tree experience", with each villa having an exclusive landscaped garden and an open-air sunken bathtub. It offers a variety of spa deals and cuisines customized to customers' likings too.
Additionally, Banyan Tree personnel were encouraged to provide ground breaking and exclusive service, to make certain its guests feel that these were paid special attention. Unique product offerings such as customised marriages even included a particular touch of local culture.
Valuable : BTHR was successful in earning the hearts of its customers as its offers them innovative and fresh encounters. This led to customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising, which produced a sustainable source of revenue.
Rare : Such product differentiation and customised services were only available at BTHR. Besides, the fusion of Banyan staff experience and BTHR culture offers on to its exclusivity.
Costly-to-imitate : BTHR's enhancements were integrations of its culture as well as staff's competence, making it costly for competitors to duplicate them.
Non-substitutable : It is difficult for rivals to reproduce the high quality and customised services proposed by Banyan Tree. In addition, the endless enhancements and ideas held its guests surprised and delighted, making the "Banyan Tree experience" special and non-substitutable.
III. Human Resources : In-house Management Capabilities
Banyan Tree sets itself apart with strong support of in-house management features.
As management capabilities are in-house, BTHR could build a resort from nothing within 2 yrs. Furthermore, those involved distributed BTHR's corporate and business culture, were acquainted with each other, permitting flexible and rapid decision making. Moreover, with in-house design features, it can tailor its design relating to its value proposition of love and intimacy.
To ensure efficiency, BTHR deployed pre-fabrication methods and problems were rectified quickly. Similarly, decision-making process was also hastened by the formation of the GX Group, which contains the key employees and expertise required to make decisions.
Besides, local staff were given the liberty to be creative in their service to ensure there is no gap between the level of service and customers' anticipations. This boosts staff's sense of owed in BTHR, which explains the low attrition rate of personnel. In-house trainings ensure its personnel are sufficiently skilled to provide high quality services because of its targeted customers too.
Valuable : Having in-house management capacities empowers BTHR with better control over its expenses and product inventions, allowing consistent delivery of its brand promise. Its ability to create a resort faster than its rivals provides it a competitive advantage too.
Rare : The in-house management functionality enables BTHR to regulate every part of its task development process. This is a rare capabilities as most hotel owners engage external distributors.
Costly-to-imitate : Due to the large outlay of capital required for its construction features and resources, it would be extremely costly for its competition to imitate. Likewise, it is nearly impossible to emulate its personnel trainings as they are also conducted in-house.
Non-substitutable : Eventhough a few of these features and resources can be outsourced, it would not be as value-adding to Banyan Tree as they might lose control of management.
In conclusion, the main element resources supporting the development and climb of Banyan Tree are highly interdependent. Along, the resources spurred the development of BTHR as they empowered Banyan Tree to tell apart itself from its' competitors. Additionally it is noticed that these are intangible resources as intangibles make it more challenging for rivals to analyse and imitate.
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