Accor, the world's leading hotel operator with a portfolio of fourteen hospitality brands (including Sofitel and Novotel) in 92 countries, prided itself on living up to its motto, "To open new frontiers in hospitality." Accor was indeed contemplating how to do just that-but not by tackling a new frontier of the geographic variety. Rather, the firm was further exploring the digital frontier via a new distribution channel that would allow it to better compete in the online marketing space for travel reservations.
HBR Case Study
In 2010, Experience! The Finger Lakes (ExperienceFLX), a tour operator offering guided tours and concierge services in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, was at a crossroads. The business was poised for growth, and its owners, Laura and Alan Falk, were considering signing a deal with Groupon, the online coupon firm, to see if a Groupon deal would help the ExperienceFLX bring in new customers. While the prospect of marketing ExperienceFLX's business to a new customer base through Groupon was very appealing, the Falks found that designing a deal that met Groupon's requirements while still allowing ExperienceFLX to make money and without endangering their relationships with area winery partners was a real challenge. The Falks had to decide whether a Groupon deal worked well for them, and if so, how to manage Groupon redemptions by their customers in a way that made financial sense.
This case analyzes the Hilton Hotels Corporation's CRM strategy at a key juncture in its history, immediately after the firm has been taken private by Blackstone. The case provides students with a comprehensive history of the evolution and IT enablers of Hilton's CRM Initiative, as well as the proprietary OnQ enterprise system. The case thus offers a rare opportunity to engage in a longitudinal evaluation of the firm's CRM initiative, and to enable students to propose the future evolution of the initiative based on their analysis.
In recent years the brand has moved squarely into the spotlight as the key to success in the hospitality industry. Business strategy once began with marketing and incorporated branding as one of its elements; today the brand drives marketing within the larger hospitality enterprise. Not only has it become the chief means of attracting customers, it has, more broadly, become the chief organizing principle for most hospitality organizations. The never-ending quest for market share follows trend after trend, from offering ever more elaborate and sophisticated amenities to the use of social media as a marketing tool-all driven by the preeminence of the brand. Chekitan S. Dev's award-winning research has appeared in leading journals including Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Journal of Marketing, and Harvard Business Review. He is the recipient of several major hospitality research and teaching awards. A former corporate executive with Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, he has served corporate, government, education, advisory, and private equity clients in more than forty countries as consultant, seminar leader, keynote speaker and expert witness. Hospitality Branding brings together the most important insights from the author's many years of research and experience, all in a single volume. Skillfully blending the knowledge of recent history, the wisdom of cutting-edge research, and promise of future trends, this book offers hospitality organizations the advice they need to survive and thrive in today's competitive global business environment.
Priya Paul, chairperson of The Park Hotels, an award-winning portfolio of thirteen boutique hotels scattered across India, was in the midst of a brand revitalization program. Landor Associates, a leading brand consultancy had identified three areas of concern: the shrinking differentiation opportunity provided by the boutique hotel positioning, consumers' negative perceptions of The Park's properties, and a lack of consistency across the hotel properties in the brand portfolio. Competition was heating up and Paul had a goal to expand her hotel portfolio to twenty properties in the next ten years. Paul knew that she had to make some major changes to her brand, including changing her positioning, choosing a new logo, and selecting the right products and services that enhanced her revitalized brand. And, she had to decide where to site the new hotel properties to best compete against global behemoths, Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental. How could she best revitalize her brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace, while preserving its rich heritage? Which changes would best propel The Park Hotels into the future?
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a small luxury private hotel management firm running a collection of 12 individually branded hotels and resorts in multiple countries, was wondering how to foster customer retention and loyalty and capture the maximum value from its 115,000 guests. Rosewood had always allowed each hotel to stand as its own individual brand, with the Rosewood name presented as a muted sub-brand, if at all. Now Rosewood's new leadership was contemplating whether the firm should significantly increase the prominence of the corporate identity, making Rosewood a corporate brand. The main challenge that Rosewood's executives face is to assess whether the potential economic benefits from increased guest retention can outweigh the $1,000,000 marketing investment needed to implement the corporate branding strategy. The central focus is a quantitative assignment that asks students to calculate how customer lifetime value would be affected by a shift from individual branding to corporate branding.
Westin Hotels and Resorts adopted a new "lifestyle" brand strategy which provided guests with a new service experience. The dilemma Westin faced was how to operationally build a brand that delivered consistent service on intangible values.
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