Such service capabilities were extremely difficult for competitors to imitate

Such service capabilities were extremely difficult

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stay pleasant and memorable. Such service capabilities were extremely difficult for competitors to imitate, requiring lots of investments in time, effort, and money by the firm to gain the trust and respect of both staff and the local community alike. Pioneer status: first mover advantage At a time when clinical spas were the norm, Banyan Tree invested in tropical garden spa pavilions, pioneering the concept of tropical spas and Asian therapeutic massages, a novelty which proved to be popular. Being the first in the market gave them a head start in penetrating the market. The lack of competition in the beginning also helped in consolidating the company’s position in the spa and resorts market. Establishments that were interested in providing similar spa services naturally approached them to establish an outlet in their premises, which helped further promote the concept of tropical garden spas beyond the regional markets. Pro-environment business practices Although being environmentally conscious sometimes resulted in costlier business decisions, for Banyan Tree, a major part of the resorts’ attraction was in the natural beauty of the location in which the villas were located. So, it made economic sense to protect and preserve the resorts’ surrounding environment to ensure that it remained an attractive tourist destination in the long run, or as Banyan Tree put it, “to prevent today’s darling from becoming tomorrow’s has-been.” Such pro-environmental business practices also generated a lot of positive publicity and won the company several awards, and these not only helped increase the brand awareness of Banyan Tree but also generated much interest among potential customers. At the same time, the company got the support of various public interest groups, such as environmentalists, and this saved the company from having to deal with any potential trouble that might have arisen from
Case 4 Banyan Tree: Branding the Intangible Page 6 © 2009 by Jochen Wirtz their development of the natural habitats of various flora and fauna for business purposes. 2.Evaluate Banyan Tree’s brand positioning and communications strategies. Can Banyan Tree maintain its unique positioning in an increasingly overcrowded resorts market?

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