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Banyan Tree is one of the top luxurious and exotic hotels found around the globe. It houses executive spas, private villas, Jacuzzis, and with an aura of relaxing and exquisite accommodation plus a dining area that astonishes, both for its elegance and serenity. The Banyan Tree Hotel is situated in different areas allowing for the creation of extensive talent from the locals and also from those working in the hotel. Its elegant design aims at providing what the other hotels do not provide. The founders, Ho and Chiang ideas were based on the concept of the price gap in the different resorts, and most of the guests wanted an idealistic environment, thus, they saw an opportunity and potential to bridge this gap. They perceived a resort not just as a place for accommodation, but a place that could provide luxury and an extraordinary experience to its guests that would leave them begging for more.
The name Banyan Tree was originally from a fishing village where the two lived. It possessed warm and idealistic vicinity, hence the two founders decided on the name. It began as a single resort in a mining site that was believed to be ruined and could not sustain any form of development but after a massive effort to rehabilitate the land, the resort was very successful and this led to the opening of two other resorts, one on Bintan Island and the other on Vabbinfaru Island. This led to the opening of many more of the Banyan Resorts, owning 23 resorts and hotels, 64 spas, 66 galleries and two golf courses in more than 19 countries in the world (Enzi 2008).
Today, Banyan Hotels and Resorts is seen as a place that offers one of the best services in the world, inclusive of an ultimate intimate and romantic experience where one can dine in the comfort of their own desires under the stars. Due to the expensive nature of the Resorts, Banyan introduced a new brand, the Angsana which is not as exquisite as the Banyan resort but offers extemporary services to those who cannot afford the costly services.
Factors that have Contributed to Success of Banyan Tree Resort
The success of Banyan Tree Resort was brought about by the broad advertising on the products that the resort offered. They used the travel magazines to broadcast themselves listing their services and awards they had received. This helped them to gain recognition in the product they offered as well as strengthen their brand name.
They used public relations and global marketing programs to develop their brand. This involved creating relationships with editors and writers of various magazines and articles that would help to bring people into the Resort. During this time, they offered the editors and writers an opportunity to experience the contemporary rooms and services offered. Through this, they would be able to tell their friends and others about their experience at the resort thereby helping to market the product and services. The creation of the Banyan Tree website provided information on the latest offers in the hotel, which saw thousands of people make bookings at the hotel.
The launching of the Global Distribution System (GDS) that is used to access airlines, car rentals, and other travel agencies helped the hotel to gain its brand identity through working together with its marketing partners, the leading hotels of the world and the small luxury hotel. This helped to attract people from all phases of the world (Gilson 2000).
Banyan Tree resort showed some concern for preserving the environment, where local material was used, with minimum cutting of trees. Most of the materials they recycled, therefore, reducing waste and they used biodegradable and non toxic products that could easily decompose. They got their water from desalination instead of digging up to look for water. Water was also recycled and used for irrigation of the land in which the resort was situated. This made the community living in the area accept the resort and involve themselves in development of this hotel.
Involving the local community in the building of the resort also helped in the success of the business. The local people through working together with the other builders of the resort were able to finish up the buildings. In employing the craftsmen for the gallery, the management of the Banyan Tree used the local talent. They bought their carvings and crafts for the gallery from the local community. This helped the local artisans to earn a living and become part of the resort. The good relationship with the local community, thus, drove in many people from other communities to visit the resort. The resort also brought business to the local community through purchasing their produces, for example, agricultural produces and handicrafts.
The employee policies in the resort were also friendly. The management did not employ only those workers who were experienced in the area and were from other luxurious resorts, but they allowed the employees to be creative in whatever they were doing. This enabled the employees to learn appropriately at their own pace without having decisions made for them. The autonomy given to them to decide on how to carry out various tasks allowed them to be sensitive and creative, which boosted their productivity. The working conditions of the employees were most favourable and they acted as a motivator for the employees and this in turn boosted productivity in terms of the services they offered as well as the products.
The guests were involved in certain development projects such as the coral planting program where the interested guests participated in planting coral reefs and were then encouraged to come back later and see the fruits of their effort. The guests were also offered with free lessons, for example, the marine biology lessons which allowed them to learn about marine life. This method of involving guests in certain activities created a sense of achievement in the minds of the guests and it helped them to see themselves as part of the Banyan Tree, encouraging them to come back to the resort. This was one major factor that contributed to the success of the resort.
Banyan Tree Brand Positioning and Communication Strategy
Banyan Tree has a strong brand which is not easily found in every other resort. Their idea of coming up with more services other than accommodation is an innovative way of providing customer satisfaction. Their private villas provide privacy to those guests that would wish to have their private time, the spar provides exquisite massage services that help the guest to relax, and the dining experience at the resort leaves a feeling of tranquility and creates an intimate environment for all the guests. Compared to other results which only offered luxurious accommodation facilities, the Banyan Tree aims at adding value to customers through providing the service that they need, as well as involving the guests in some activities in the resort. The marketing strategy that Banyan Tree used can be described as that of great creativity. As Banyan continues to expand, the brand is becoming stronger. Today the resort has opened in over 15 countries around the world, making it a multinational as well as a multimillion dollar business. The extraordinary services and the serine environment as well as the well linked product, makes Banyan Tree a strong brand (Nolan 2000).
Banyan Tree can gain competitive advantage over the other resorts by offering services that no other resort has, creating customer value, aggressive marketing strategy and coming up with new products that rhyme with the changing lifestyles of the people. Corporate social responsibility would also earn the resort an advantage over the other competitors. Through developing the lives of the locals, Banyan Tree has gained support from the people in the region it is situated at. Today, there are so many resorts as well as hotels that have been established but Banyan Tree can still stand out by giving back to the society through offering jobs, promoting the locals through purchasing their products and not only satisfying their guests but also leaving them with an experience that they will never forget.
Banyan Tree is a strong brand which is a price maker and not a price taker. Through offering products such as “intimate moments” where they surprise guest couples by decorating their rooms, converting them into exotic romantic places with candle lights, rose petals spread on the bed and a bottle of wine. Such additional products help the Resort to gain a competitive edge in the competitive market, thus, making the resort stand out and flourish.
The Brand Portfolio
Banyan Tree, Angsana, Colors of Angsana and Allamanda all offer services that the beach resorts, spars, hotels and galleries have. There is a difference between these two. Apart from these services that they offer to the customers, what more do they give to the customers? The Banyana Tree resort not only provide these services to the customers, they involve them in certain activities such as educational programs, team building activities, etc. by doing this they add value to customers by creating a sense of achievement. The Angsana Brand was as a result of demand from the hotel owners in Asia to offer spar services at their hotels, which is more prohibitive than the Banyan Tree. The Colors of Angsana was established to cater especially in the tourism market and was priced fairly than the Banyan Tree. These three brands of the BTHL operate as individual hotels and resorts all over the world. The beach resorts, spas and galleries, therefore, fit as a family since they are interdependent on each other. This means that the product portfolio of these products is what makes up the brand portfolio of the Banyan Tree (Roll 2006).
Banyan Tree should continually change the products in their brands to line with the changing lifestyles of the people. Today, there are many hotels and resorts offering the same services as the Banyan Tree making the products more competitive. Banyan Tree should, however, come up with new products which will make them different from all the other products being offered in the market.
A more aggressive communication and marketing strategy will also be required so as to gain recognition in the market. These maybe by developing multiple channels of communication other than the internet and media as and coming up with new marketing strategies that will help them in attracting new markets, for example, brand licensing.
Venturing into new market segments will attract new customers to the products. Banyan Tree should establish many more of its products in new markets, but still make sure that it does not dilute its brand. This will involve finding new target markets where there is potential for the growth of their products. Through managing their brand and products, Banyan Tree will still emerge successful in this competitive world as changing with the changing circumstances is useful in understanding what works best now rather than focusing on what used to work before.
CSR and Brand Equity
Corporate social responsibility helps a company in developing its public perception of the company. Good corporate social responsibility will help to create a strong brand since the society will talk of the good of the company thereby drawing in more customers unlike a company with a bad reputation, where all its customers and the public try to stay away from the company due to its poor reputation. CSR means contributing positively to the quality of the community as well as the work force. Banyan Tree, for example, practiced CSR through involving the local community in its agendas, for example, buying their products and employing the local artisans.
Sustaining a brand is also as important as creating one. Good corporate social responsibility helps in sustaining and keeps a certain brand going. Through the support of the society, a company will keep going even through hard times and it is the society that keeps it going through the customers who bring in funds through purchasing their products and this helps to sustain the company through a difficult time. Banyan Tree offered its guests contemporary services and created an intimate and romantic experience for them. This helped it to strengthen its brand equity through making the Banyan experience memorable (Roll 2006).
Corporate social responsibility helps a brand expand. When a certain brand is supported by the community, it will be able to acquire the funds needed for it to expand and the community will demand that brand. When the society recognizes the quality of the product, they are able to promote it financially as well as structurally. Banyan tree benefited the environment through the creation of employment of the local people and involving themselves in community based projects which aimed at developing the communities surrounding the Banyan Tree Resort. This made their products easily recognizable to the local community, where the locals were willing to give more of what they had to help to build the resort.
Potential Problems and Solutions
Banyan Tree is continuing to expand and it aims at bringing in the brand to America, Europe and the Middle East. However, some problems may arise in their attempt to do so as establishing too many of their brands could dilute the brand. This means that some of their brands would not do so well because they are just too many. Therefore, they should find ways of balancing their brands to avoid being too concentrated in these areas.
This may also cause conflicts with the existing resorts and hotels in areas as they would consider the Banyan Tree to have gained control of their market. This reception is not too good for the business as it crops out rivalry with the surrounding hotel businesses. However, the brand could negotiate with the existing hotel businesses in the area so as to know which services to offer and may also form partnerships with the existing hotel industries in the region other than set up independent resorts (Palma 2011).
One major problem they may face is aggressive competition of their products with the existing products. They should, however, come up with strategic strategies on the ways to gain competitive advantage.
Banyan Tree being one of the top luxurious resorts, which offer incredible services and products, provides a sense of relaxation as well as intimacy to their guest. Through the practice of CSR as well as their efforts to conserve the environment has seen Banyan Tree grow beyond limits. Continued development of their products is necessary to gain a competitive edge in their products.PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT!
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