A SWOT Analysis is a tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. This basic, straightforward model assesses what an organization can and cannot do as well as its potential opportunities and threats. The method of the SWOT analysis is to take the information from an environmental analysis and separate it into internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external issues (opportunities and threats). Once it is completed, SWOT analysis determines what may assist the firm in accomplishing its objectives, and what obstacles must be overcome or minimized to achieve the desired results.
* Brand Strategy and positioning. The Group’s branding strategy focuses on brand differentiation to cater a wide range of customers. The newest brand of the group, SUBU focuses on innovative healthy food for younger and more fashionable office workers, the LAN Club is the luxury brand that targets the upper-class dining segment of successful businesspeople aged over 45 years, and South Beauty, the Group’s flagship brand that targets upper-middle class segment of businesspeople aged from 30 to 45 years. No competitor in the Chinese restaurant market has such brand format. Almost all of them operate their single brands without clear brand positioning so their brand image is quite inferior to the Group’s. * Consistent brand identities. The company has built consistent brand identities by launching some outdoor and print advertisement. The company also explore cooperation with certain international airlines, including Air France and KLM Royal Dutch airlines, to provide business travelers flying between China and Europe with South Beauty-branded Chinese dishes. * Innovation. The company is regarded as an innovative company, with 55 percent annual growth. The South Beauty restaurant also introduced several innovations and improvements with regard to traditional Sichuan food, not only in terms of new raw materials, but also the process of preparing the dishes and the customer experience. The Group developed a range of innovations with regard to Sichuan cuisine but also added certain Cantonese cuisine and other flavors to its menu. One of the group’s biggest and most ambitious innovations is the combination of Chinese and Western cuisine that breaks with tradition and creates original new flavors. It is the first Chinese restaurant to offer Chinese food in a western style, and the first to mix food presentation with artistic views. * Differentiation in cuisine. Some of the factors that make the Group’s cuisine different from others are the strict requirements placed on raw ingredients, the innovation on traditional cuisine, the exacting criteria placed on a dish’s nutritional value, and the strong emphasis on the visual appeal of each dish. * Location and Pricing. The Group’s restaurants are located in top-notch office buildings in key cities. Meals are also expensively priced to cover costs, but because of the brand’s reputation and image, consumers are willing to pay the high prices. This combination of high-end location and high pricing were helpful in developing the upper-middle class brand image. * Interior decoration and ambience. Each South Beauty restaurant had a different décor, designed by well-known artists in the field. It is Zhang Lan’s belief that people should come to the restaurant not only for the food but also for the ambience. * IT applications. Advanced IT applications enhanced the image of the restaurant and improve efficiency. For example, the Group built its own CRM system to record customer information and use that information to provide tailor-made services and make promotional communications. These IT applications give the Group an edge because they are quite innovative for the traditional Chinese catering industry as most restaurants remain committed to their old ways of operating their businesses. * People...
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