Page 2: Competition in the market-place
In the early days, UCI developed out of town multiplexes which were an indirect challenge to the existing cinema structure i.e. dated cinemas in city or town centre locations. Once again UCI has taken the lead in developing its product offering and promoting these attributes with sound marketing initiatives. As UCI has developed its market position, many changes have taken place in its business environment. Other strong brands now exist in the market-place providing direct competition with cinema multiplex products which appeal to similar groups of customers. In fact, competition from other multiplex cinema chains has intensified on a global basis. As direct competition from other chains has increased, it is becoming even more important for marketers to encourage customers to choose UCI rather than a competitor.
Over time, the differences and advantages enjoyed by UCI over its leisure industry competitors have become less pronounced. It is therefore important for marketers to assess UCI's market position and find out exactly how customers perceive the organisation and its products. It is only by knowing what customers think about a product that it is possible to find out how it stands against direct competitors. Providing customer comfort and convenience in an increasingly competitive business environment is not enough. UCI therefore embarked on an 18 month research and development project to identify the 'cinema of the future'. The research enabled UCI to examine what customers want from a visit to the movies. It provided a base from which UCI could assess strategic options and refine its strategic direction through the development of innovations and ideas. The net result of this process has been the ongoing development of a new generation of cinemas.
So, what is the cinema of the future? UCI's expertise and passion for film extends the escapism offered by the big screen into a broader leisure offering. In addition to employing the latest technology, UCI has broadened its retail offering and is now able to provide the customer with a comprehensive leisure experience.
This case study focuses on the launch of one of these new generations of cinema at Blanchardstown, on the outskirts of Dublin.