Page 1: Introduction
The challenge for organisations in competitive markets is to provide clarity for customers in a way which reduces the random nature of their product selection. When making choices about the products or services they want to buy, consumers look for a variety of different verbal and physical cues, such as a name, sign or symbol they recognise and the values they represent. Although marketing efforts, as well as other stimuli, influence buyer behaviour, a key element in adding value to a product or service is branding.
Branding has become a major issue in product strategy - a way for organisations to deliver a consistent package of features and benefits for buyers. Branding helps consumers identify products which may satisfy their needs more easily. By defining clearly what the product lines are, branding reduces the time consumers spend evaluating product or service alternatives and gives consumers a clearer picture of what a product offering comprises.
This case study focuses on Bass. Growing its core business both organically, as well as through acquisition, has provided a platform for branding to become a cornerstone of Bass’s business strategy.
Bass PLC is a leading leisure hospitality group operating in the hotel, leisure retail and branded drinks sectors. In 1998, it achieved turnover in excess of £4.6 billion and the company is in the UK’s FTSE 100. Bass is one of the world’s most successful groups in the hotels, leisure retailing and branded drinks businesses and includes:
- Bass Hotels & Resorts - Bass Hotels and Resorts operates or franchises more than 2,700 hotels and over 450,000 guest rooms in more than 95 countries. It owns and operates some of the world’s leading brands: Inter-Continental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
- Bass Leisure Retail - Bass Leisure Retail has over 2,400 restaurants, pubs, bars and venues which are some of the most innovative and commercially successful in the UK. Its brands include All Bar One, Vintage Inns, Browns, Harvester, Toby, O’Neills, Bar Coast, It’s A Scream and Dave & Buster’s.
- Branded Drinks - There are two companies within the branded sector: Bass Brewers and Britvic Soft Drinks. Bass Brewers is one of the world’s most famous brewing companies, making beers and lagers such as Carling, Tennent’s, Caffrey’s Irish Ale and Worthington. Brewing and distribution operations are now being developed outside the UK, including the Czech Republic and The People’s Republic of China. Britvic Soft Drinks has created colourful, innovative and sometimes outrageous brands. The result is more soft drinks brands in the top ten than any other manufacturer, including three of the top five in the UK - Pepsi, Tango and Robinsons.