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helped it achieve a clear and distinctive market position. That the company consistentlydelivered on its promise further reinforced what Banyan Tree stood for in the minds of itscustomers, thereby building both brand loyalty and emotional bonds. Product/service design and delivery (Pages 86)• The luxurious villas and distinctive native settings provided an excellent backdrop for guests tocreate memorable holiday experiences. • Service employees were warm, sincere, and respectful; knew guests by their names; andremembered their preferences. Such personalized service delivery warmed guests, and helpedthem feel comfortable and relaxed, contributing to the entire customer experience. This wasfurther enhanced by the feel-good factor that guests’ patronage helped to contribute to varioussocial and environmental causes. • Repeat patronage was also encouraged by the different services offered at different locations,which gave satisfied guests an added incentive to visit Banyan Tree resorts around the world,to experience authentic flavors and practices of various local communities. • As employees were given freedom to decorate the villas and in serving guests, even regularguests of a particular resort would have a different experience and may be pleasantly surprisedevery time they checked in. Such practices, together with continual service innovations, keptthe Banyan Tree experience fresh and interesting. • The whole Banyan Tree experience was engineered to appeal to one’s senses, giving guests aunique value proposition unlike the regular room stays offered by competitors then; such aservice feature was also difficult to imitate, and successfully set Banyan Tree apart from otherresorts in the market. Satisfied guests not only became loyal customers but also helped spreadpositive word-of-mouth, which in turn gained the company new customers. Aggressive internal marketing • Generous staff welfare policies created a strong sense of brand ownership among employees,which motivated them to achieve service excellence. Service staff served guests with passionand sincerity that could not be bought or easily copied by competitors. employees may notalways provide the standard service across all the resorts nor always similar to that commonlyfound in five-star establishments in developed countries, their friendly and respectful attitudestowards guests more than made up for it and actually provide an element of surprise even to themost regular guests. 2
Banyan Tree – Branding the IntangibleWinning the support of local communities and public interest groups • The company’s considerable investments in conserving/preserving/promoting thesocial/cultural/natural environment beyond what was required of the company (withoutsacrificing on service quality) showed proof of corporate ethics that were driven by themanagement’s personal values. Such acts projected the Banyan Tree brand as being caring andsincere, consistent with its positioning of a romantic brand. Overall, Banyan Tree was viewed