Service Marketing: Bliss Spa Case Study

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………..…………………………………….3

1.1 Company Background………………………………………………………………………….3

2. Literature Review…………………………………………………………………….……………………………….4

2.1 SERVQUAL………………………………………………………………………………………………….4

Table I. SERVQUAL Dimensions……………………………….…………………………..4

2.2 SERVICESCAPE………………………………………………………………..………………………….5

3. Service Experience – Bliss Spa Pedicure……………………………………………….………………………5

3.1 SERVQUAL Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………6

Table II. SERVQUAL RESULTS………………………………………….…………………..6

3.1.1 Tangibles……………………………………………………………….……………..……7

3.1.2 Reliability………………………………………………………………...………………..7

3.1.3 Responsiveness……………………………………………………..………………….7

3.1.4 Assurance………………………………………………………………….………………7

3.1.5 Empathy…………………………………………………………………….……………..7

3.2 Servicescape Analysis……………………………………………………………………………….8

Table III. Design Elements of Bliss Spa………………………….……………………8

3.2.1 Ambient Conditions…………..…….………………………………………………8

3.2.2 Spatial Layout & Functionality………………………………………………….8

3.2.3 Signs, Symbols, & Artifacts………………………………………………………..9

4. Conclusion & Recommendations………………………………………………………………………………..9

5. Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….9

6. Appendix………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….10


1. Introduction

In today’s global service economy, the successful marketing of a firm’s services has never been more critical in determining company longevity. This is especially true of salon and spa services. In the UK alone, consumers spend upwards of £5.2 billion on beauty and grooming services with steady industry growth rates despite the difficult global economic climate (Mintel, 2009). It is therefore critical to differentiate oneself via service leadership and premium service quality in order to attract and retain spa clientele.

This report will examine the case of Bliss Spa, an international spa brand comprised of over 20 locations worldwide ranging from Hong Kong and Singapore to London and New York. In regards to the aspect of service, this report will critically evaluate nail services, specifically a spa pedicure, at Bliss 49, W Hotel Lexington Avenue, New York location (Bliss, 2013).

1.1 Company Background

Bliss had a modest beginning; its Canadian founder Marcia Kilgore, a long time sufferer of acne, began giving facials to friends in her New York City apartment after taking skincare courses. Within a short time she opened her first formal spa location in downtown New York and was soon acquired by LVMH and later, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. As a Starwood company Bliss opened several stand-alone locations as well as outposts within the W Hotel brand. In addition to new locations, the acquisition meant offering in-room Bliss branded products within all W hotels, as well as select Sheraton and aloft brand locations (Reuters, 2004).

The Bliss brand positioning makes a departure from the traditional spa atmosphere and Bliss is credited with being the first of its kind. It replaces customary dim lighting and slow mood music with bright colorful spaces and catchy pop tunes. Retreating from the ‘expected’, it is a breath of fresh air and perhaps a response to findings that consumers find spas boring and lack appeal (Mintel, 2009).

Bliss Spa, W Hollywood Four Seasons Spa, San Francisco

Bliss continues to grow with new services and partnerships, additions to its namesake product line, and new locations opening across the US and Middle East (Bliss, 2013).

2. Literature Review

In determining the service models with which to assess the Bliss service experience, there was a large scope to choose from. However two frameworks, SERVQUAL and Servicescape were selected largely due to the nature of spa industry service dimensions.

2.1 SERVQUAL

SERVQUAL was selected based on...
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