Banyan Tree – Developing a Powerful Service Brand

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Banyan Tree – Developing a Powerful Service Brand
Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts had become a leading player in the luxury resorts and spa market in Asia. As part of its growth strategy, Banyan Tree had launched new brands and brand extensions that included resorts, spas, retail outlets, and even museum shops. Now, the company had to contemplate how to manage its brand portfolio and expand its business while preserving the distinctive identity and strong brand image of Banyan Tree, its flagship brand. Teaching Suggestions

• This case illustrates how a powerful service brand can be built even with little advertising. It also exemplifies how pro-environmental business practices can co-exist with a firm’s profit objectives. • Set in a service context, the case may be used in both basic and more advanced marketing courses, in discussions on services marketing, hotel management, branding, and promotion management. • On promotion management, the case shows how various promotion strategies and tools of the promotion mix can be applied in practice. In particular, the case illustrates how a well designed marketing program can result in successful branding, even when little advertising is employed. • In discussing brand management, the case provides practical examples of marketing concepts such as corporate branding, sub-brands, and brand extension strategies. As an exercise, students could be asked to apply what they have learnt to develop strategies and recommendations on managing the Banyan Tree portfolio of brands and products. • Finally, the case could be used in an introductory marketing course to illustrate the importance of branding and positioning in target marketing, as well as in discussions of services marketing. • The instructor could start by asking how many in the class have heard of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts before taking the course, and inform students that the brand is relatively new compared to other established brands. It is also one of the few established service brands, poised towards going global, that is developed from Asia. ____________________________________________________________________ © 2005 by Jochen Wirtz and Maisy Koh

Suggested Supplemental Readings
1. Chapters 3-5 of Services Marketing – People, Technology, Strategy, 5th edition, by Christopher Lovelock and Jochen Wirtz, Prentice Hall, 2004. 2. “Cultivating Service Brand Equity,” by Leonard L. Berry, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 28, no.1, pp.128-137. Case Questions

1. What are the main factors that contributed to Banyan Tree’s success? 2. Evaluate Banyan Tree’s brand positioning and communications strategies. Can Banyan Tree maintain its unique positioning in an increasingly overcrowded resorts market? 3. Discuss whether the brand portfolio of Banyan Tree, Angsana, Colours of Angsana, and Allamanda, as well as the product portfolio of beach resorts and city hotels, spas, galleries, and museum shops fit as a family. What are your recommendations to Banyan Tree for managing these brands and products in future? Discussion of Case Questions

1. What are the main factors that contributed to Banyan Tree’s success? Banyan Tree’s success might be attributed to an overall well designed and executed external and internal marketing program, and in particular: • Choice of target segment

• Positioning and branding strategy
• Product/service design and delivery
• Aggressive internal marketing
• Winning the support of local communities and public interest groups • Pioneer status: first mover advantage
• Pro-environmental business practices
Choice of target segment
• The large price gap in the luxury resorts market meant that middle upper class consumers must either stretch to pay for ultra luxurious resorts such as Aman, or settle for resorts, though luxurious, are catered to the masses. • Ho recognized the business opportunity presented by the gap in the resorts market: there was room for something pricier and...
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