To analyse the management strategy in dual-branding hotels in Asia
On matters of the provision of products and services, the hospitality industry in the view of Amontatkul and Pahome (42) has the responsibility of the best services with the objective of satisfying the desires of the customers. This is often in relation to the basic needs in relation to the categories of products and services, which are often group as food, beverage, surrounding, ambiance, beds and lodgings. Furthermore, the success of the hospitality industry in the market is dependent on the behaviour and attitudes of the employees in the provision of customer services such that the customers feel worthy and respected (Ernst & Young 11). Since the hospitality industry is about the provision of service, it is important to tailor the services in ways that meet the needs and the expectations of the customers considering its essence in the development of a positive reputation of a company in the hospitality industry. The quality of service offered in the hospitality industry is responsible for the difference between hotels. According to Ernst & Young (11), the benefits of quality services are often demonstrated in the ability of a hotel to gain the satisfaction of its customers, improve on its brand image, and earn a competitive advantage, improvements of profit margin and earning of customer loyalty (Carlino 69).
The hotel industry is one of the most competitive industries in different regions on the international and local platforms. This explains why to gain high competitive advantages, hotels are introducing new approaches to management, marketing and branding. The hotel industry in Asia with reference to Thailand are confronting different challenges despite the country being one of the leading performers in terms of the provision of the best customer services as at 2012 (Ernst & Young 11). According to the available statistics on the number of tourist who visited the hotel industry in the country, Thailand has a high growth potential in terms of attracting more tourist from the local and foreign domains (Roll 50).
Despite the perceived success of the hotel industry in Thailand, the industry in the view of the Thai Hotel Association has about 50% of hotels operating without a license. Other than the illegally operating environments, the hotel industry in the country also faces competition from the service apartments, which provide support to travellers by providing them with cheaper accommodation alternatives (Roll 52). This is despite the hefty investments that the hotel investors in the Asian society have spent the construction, licensing and high level standards of operation. The dual branding hotel concept has been considered as influential in improving the image and profit level of hotels in Asia. The concept of dual branding entails a combination of two categories in a specific family chain. This has been made successful by matching the operations of two hotels in one building (Carlino 69). Such hotels share facilities and the operations department as a way of minimizing the cost of branding while improving on their image in the highly competitive market. Hotel Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn are examples of hotels that have been successful in dual –branding within Asia. The benefits are attributable to the ability by the management of the two hotels to combine guest amenity spaces hence lowering the cost of constriction in addition, through dual branding the hotels have been able to share overhead and personnel expenses hence a reduction in the cost of operations (International Labor Organization 30).
Purpose of the study
Dual branding is an approach to marketing that helps companies in the hotel industry to device a methodology of improving the reputation of accompany. This approach to promotion is not only applicable in situations where there is need for two companies selling similar or complementary products. The ability of the companies to reduce cost by sharing a premise and the customer’s service desk, especially in the hotel industry, provides them with a pool of resources that can ensure the development of an effective and highly competitive brand. This research will assess the level by which Hotel Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn can implement dual branding as an approach to successful branding and marketing
Rationale of the study
One of the outstanding benefits of dual branding as a promotional and branding approach in the hotel industry is that it helps in the reduction of the cost of construction, the cost of purchasing land for construction, which has become one of the most expensive asserts in the cities within Asia (Roll 56). Furthermore, the reduction of cost of hotel operation helps the businesses gain some competitive advantage through the reduction of investor risk and the generation of profit from a large traffic of guest that will be accessing the products and services provided by such hotels.
According to Kimpakorn and Tocquer (533), Bangkok is one of the finest tourist destinations in the Asian continent. This is an indication that the city attracts customers with different attributes requiring varieties of services. The ability of the hotel industry to match the demand of the customers through the satisfaction of their desires provides a perfect platform of addressing problems related to customer service orientation and the problems related to the industry. Despite less popularity of dual branding in Thailand, it is possible for multinational hotels such as Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn to implement dual branding as a strategy aimed at pooling resources to make it relatively cheaper to advertise the services and products offered in the hotel.
There have been conflicts on the definition of dual branding and co-branding in relation to the hotel industry in Thailand. This has been associated to limited information and research regarding matters of dual branding and its benefits to the success of the hotel industry (Kimpakorn and Tocquer 534). This is especially with regard to the essence of this approach towards hotel management strategy to the improvement of hotel managements and the relationship between the employees and their customers. It is through a critical analysis of this study that it will be relatively easier to develop an understanding of the role of dual branding as a promotional strategy in the hotel industry. The success of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn in the highly competitive Bangkok market can facilitate the development of new marketing and promotional initiatives by the management of these companies w that will ensure growth and development of the companies especially in matters related to the profit margin.
Aims and objectives
The main aim of this research is to be involved in a critical analysis of the relationship between dual branding and the factors influencing the expectations of tourists and preferences while making decision on their tourist destination sites. This will be done with reference to the significance of dual branding initiatives by Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
The objectives of the study include
- To evaluate the role of dual branding in influencing the decision making process by tourist on the hotels to access
- To investigate the significance of dual branding in improving the relationship between the management and its employees
- To determine the significance of dual branding in improving the relationship between the management and the customers
According to the marketing mix approach to marketing, successful branding is only possible in situations where the management considered four essential aspects of that affect the possibility that customers will access the products and services provided by a company (Heding et al 23). This approach emphasizes on the relevance of considering the place, price, promotional strategy and the people. For dual branding to be considered successful in the hotel industry, it is important for the management to create a brand value, which is affected by the alterations in the distribution process, price, and the promotional strategy of a company (Heding et al 23). This is in relation to the assumptions by the functionalist approach to branding which assert that the consideration of the consumer as the most essential aspect in the brand will define the reason for companies to dual brand. This is because consumers are economic in nature and therefore their decision on the services to access in a hotel is based on the understanding of the brand and the needs of the consumers. The management through the marketers has a responsibility of creating a brand value that can be understood by the customers (Heding et al 23).
Definition of terms
- Dual branding is a combination of two organizations in one area of specialization such as hotel industry. This approach is often successful by matching the operations of two hotels in one building
- Decision-making- this is the process through which the leadership organs
- Promotional strategies: Initiative generated by the management to facilitate the marketing of products and services in the hotel industry
- Effective management: Leadership based on values and organizational principles with the objective of realizing organizational management
- Brand management: Development innovative measures that can be used in improving the popularity of products or services in the target market
- Target market- The most appropriate population to purchase products and services offered by a hotel. The selection of this group is often based on their characteristics of the population such as economic background
- Customer service- the nature of relationship between a hotel and the customers in terms of satisfying the needs of their clients
Contextual boundary of the study
The study will focus on Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn which are hotels operating within Asia and in European countries. The study will however assess the operations of the hotels in Thailand, Bangkok, considering the competitive nature of the hotel industry in the city. The study will use the hotels as a case study with the objective of understanding the role and the relevance of dual branding in not only improving on the management strategies of hotels but also in enhancing the abilities of different hotels to satisfy the needs of their customers through dual branding.
Significance of the study
The hotel industry in Asia has become highly competitive due to the quality of customer services offered to the company. Findings from this study will assist other hotels within Asia and others operating on the international scene to understand the benefits of this approach to hotel management in improving the profit margin, increasing sales and reducing the cost of operating and constructing hotels through pooling resources.
Outline of study design and methods
This research is analytical in nature. This is because to be able to understand the essence of dual branding in hotel industry in Asia with reference to Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, it will be important to explain its efficiency in marketing. Through the analytical understanding, the study will establish a causal relationship between variables (Raddon 5). These include dual branding and the satisfaction of the needs of the customers.
The study will be deductive to provide a platform for effective data collection and interpretation process. Through deduction, it will be easier to the relationship between the underlying theory and the data collected (Soiferman 7). In addition, a deductive process will be relatively easier for the study to draw generalizations and develop conclusion based on the analysis and interpretation process. The deductive approach to the research process will provide a technique that can be used in understanding the systematic process of data collection and analysis to allow for the development of recommendations (Soiferman 11).
The study will embrace a quantitative research strategy. A combination of the deductive approach and the quantitative strategy will allow for the development and refining of the research questions before the data collection process (Cresweell 4). This will make it relatively easier for the researcher to express concepts in the form of distinctive variables. The quantitative strategy in research will also allow the quantification of research findings. This is because charts, tables and statistical data will inform the research process (Cresweell 4). The findings of the study, which will be quantifiable, will make it relatively easier for the researcher to maintain objectivity of the study. This is because quantitative strategy of research allows for generalization of findings based on verifiable propositions. The relevance and the objectivity of the study, through this strategy, will facilitate the process of generalization considering that the findings and the subsequent recommendations will follow from the previous propositions (Soiferman 12).
The research is expected to be conducted in 60 days. Successful completion of the research will require allocation of time, in terms of days and weeks, top specific responsibilities that will aid in the success of the study as listed in the table below:
|In-depth literature review on the topic of study
|Formulation of research questions
|Determining the methodology of data collection
|Determining the target population and sample
|Preparing data collection to6ls
|Sampling the target population
|Data analysis and interpretation
|Compilation of research and presentation
Data collection methods
The study will collect data from both primary and secondary sources. The collection of primary data will be with structured questionnaires, which will be administered through a structured and face-to face interview process (Kyanda 3). Since it is a researcher-administered questionnaire, it will be the responsibility of the researcher to provide the participant with clarity regarding research questions (Kyanda 3). The primary focus of the questions will be on the relationship between dual branding, hotel profit margin and strategic management of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
Secondary data will be collected through an in-depth literature review process of publications and journals that have been verified (Hox & Boeije 596). These will literature focusing on branding strategies employed in the hotel industry and the role of dual branding in improving the quality of service and customer satisfaction.
The target population in this study will be the employees and the customers of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. Customers will provide an insight of their understanding of dual branding in relation to customer service. The employees will provide information regarding the significance of dual branding in improving the management and the profit margin of the hotel.
The research will adopt purposive sampling and sensors approaches. The census approach to sampling will be applied on the customers from domestic and foreign markets. Census will enable the researcher to sample a representative population of the customers. Purposive sampling will be used in targeting specific employees in Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn such as the management to understand their role in implementing dual branding (Mugo 8).
Validity and reliability
The tools and instruments to be used in the data collection process will be tested for their reliability and validity by conducting a pilot study on the target population
The main ethical issue in this study will be the ability of the researcher to uphold the element of objectivity throughout the research. This is because of the possibility of the respondents to act subjectively by promoting personal agenda (Drew et al 75). Objectivity can be achieved by explaining to the respondents the relevance of their feedback in improving management and customer service in the hotel industry.
An additional ethical issue will be on unwilling respondents. This will especially affect foreign respondents for fear of victimization and among the managers for fear of intimidation. Any form of intimidation or fear of victimization will limit the ability of the researcher to collect valid data. One way by which the researcher can ensure the protection of the respondents is by maintaining their anonymity as required by the confidentiality clause. This clause allows the respondents to participate in the research process after understanding the terms and conditions of this study. In addition, it also provides an assurance to the respondents that the information they provide will be valuable to research (Drew et al 75)
Using the quantitative research strategy in the data collection process will limit the ability of the researcher to develop an understanding on the feelings and the perception of the respondent in relation to the role of dual branding in improving profit margin and customer satisfaction. Failure by the researcher to document these perceptions will lead to absence of findings addressing individual attitudes and understanding towards dual branding
It is possible for the process of designing research questions to be biased towards the realization of a specific objective. This is based on the understanding that the researcher predetermines the questions. Any form of bias from the researcher will provide the respondents with leading questions and this will affect the possibility of the research realizing its objectives due to misleading or inappropriate information provided by the respondents
It is possible for purposive sampling to fail in its desires of sampling respondent with suffic5ent knowledge on matters related to the significance of dual branding. This will limit the ability of the research to realize its ob1ectives considering that the use of less experienced individual with limited experience in management will limit the possibility that the research will realize it objectives.
Methods of data analysis
Upon collection, data will be assed for completion and accuracy of responses and questionnaires. The data will be analysed through the bivariate approach to data analysis, which will facilitate the generation of associational effect statistics, which will be useful in measuring the connection between variables. The study will also use cross-tabulation and scatter diagrams in exploring the association between customer satisfaction and dual branding.
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