Page 4: Brand management
A key element of business strategy is to define clearly what the main product lines are and then to focus resources on these lines. Such clarity is important for the external audience (i.e. customers) and the internal audience (i.e. those responsible for making key decisions within the organisation.)
Branding is an important part of this defining process. Brands should exemplify what the company stands for. The founding principles of Holiday Inn, for example, have always been those of customer service, quality and value. Today, the strength of the Bass Group’s worldwide hotel business is built largely on the power of the Holiday Inn brand.
Holiday Inn Worldwide offers a variety of products to meet the diverse needs of its customers. The company positions its portfolio of hotel products to the broad range of mid-market customers, which represent over 70% of all room nights sold around the world. Since its purchase, Bass has renewed and revitalised the brand, introducing new extensions to give it even more awareness.
In September 1994, Holiday Inn Worldwide announced a new branding strategy with the introduction of two new line extensions: Holiday Inn Select, for the business traveller who prefers the value and atmosphere of a traditional Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, a product for the traveller on extended stay or seeking more spacious accommodation for work or leisure. At the same time, an initiative to modernise a significant number of the traditional Holiday Inn hotels in the Americas was launched. Holiday Inn Garden court was repositioned to allow the properties to meet the needs of their local markets and the company also established Crowne Plaza as a separate brand in the Americas, in light of its superior market recognition among business travellers. Outside the Americas, this line of hotels continues to operate under the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza name.
A key motive for business acquisitions is the possibility of benefiting from the expertise and experience that exists within the acquired organisation. When the Bass Group bought the Holiday Inn brand, the object was not only to acquire the brand but also the technological leader in the hotel industry.
Technology is a key force, driving Bass forward to the 21st century. Every business relies on technology to maintain the edge over its competitors. In this case example, the technology ranges from the electronic entertainment business, relying on state-of-the-art remote data capture systems to record machine profits and market trends, to Bass Brewers’ production lines, producing and packaging over 80.5 million barrels of beer every year. Like the rest of the Bass Group, Holiday Inn uses advanced technology through its market leading reservation system. Holidex is the leading on-line reservation system in the industry and deals with over 25 million calls annually.