Creating a global business
A Bass Group case study

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Page 2: The importance of being a global player

Nowadays, it is important for most large companies selling branded consumer goods and services to think globally and not simply set out to dominate their domestic (national) market. Today’s modern consumers are sophisticated and cosmopolitan in their tastes - loyalty will be given to whichever producer supplies the best quality products and value for money. Transnational companies treat the global market place as their domestic market.

In the future, branded drinks manufacturers, hotel chains and leisure retailers will need to be very large in order to compete successfully - otherwise they will simply be swept away by bigger and better chains. The aim should be to develop a name for ‘excellence’ and then build on this framework by the careful acquisition of similar excellent organisations. The only way to protect your ‘domestic market’ is to extend the boundary of that market.

Thus Bass recognised the need to seek a global competitive advantage from large scale production and widespread market presence. The Group greatly extended its domestic market by its acquisition of Holiday Inn Worldwide - currently some 2,300 hotels in over 60 countries.

Background and development of Holiday Inn

The Holiday Inn success story is closely associated with the growth of the US economy after the Second World War. The demand for midmarket lodging was so great that, by the end of the 1950s, there were 100 Holiday Inn hotels in the United States. By 1964, there were 500, growing to 1,000 by 1968. As the interstate highway system developed, Holiday Inn turned its attention to sites near airports, in downtown areas and in suburban office locations. International expansion saw Holiday Inn move rapidly into Europe and Asia. In the early 1970s, one Holiday Inn hotel was opening somewhere in the world every two and a half days! However, during the 1970s, the boom started to peak and Holiday Inn found itself with a number of ageing hotels and an organisation that needed a serious rethink. Following Bass’ acquisition, Holiday Inn Worldwide was restructured into six key brands:

  • Holiday Inn Hotels of dependable service and attractive facilities in more than 1,500 locations around the world.
  • Express Hotels for budget conscious travellers.
  • Holiday Inn Garden Court Hotels with distinctive regional personality, mainly located throughout Europe and South Africa.
  • Holiday Inn Select Hotels which are specifically designed for the business traveller in North America.
  • Holiday Inn Sun Family friendly hotel resorts at Spree Resort affordable budget rates.
  • Crowne Plaza The Crowne Plaza brand is geared to the upscale business and leisure traveller around the world.

Bass Group | Creating a global business