Page 5: Maintaining a competitive edge
Successful organisations adapt to their environment by creating well thought out strategies to give them a competitive edge. Strategies are the long term plans of the organisation which are concerned with key issues such as – ‘what exactly does the company do/make?’ and ‘how will it maintain a competitive edge over rivals?’ The Bryant strategy focuses on four main issues which, in business terms, are concerned with having the ‘best’ products, in the ‘best’ places, at the ‘best’ prices for the target group of customers:
- prime locations
- highly individual products
- superior specifications
- attractive site layouts.
Bryant looks very carefully at how these current issues are being implemented within the organisation and continually adapts them to current market conditions. A focus on prime locations is extremely important if Bryant is to achieve sufficient sales momentum to enable the company to move prices forward and unlock the Bryant premium. Bryant chooses to build in only the best locations. In fact, Bryant takes as much care over where houses are built, as to how the houses are built. This means creating select developments, in prime locations, taking into account location of schools, easy access to shops, local amenities and good links to the transport network.
With Bryant’s distinctive house designs, the highly individual product is proving of benefit. Bryant has considerably expanded the choice available to purchasers by accelerating the rate at which new designs are introduced. The new homes make wider use of guest en-suites, family rooms, garden rooms and have attractive, well fitted kitchens and bathrooms. By developing more home styles and building fewer houses per site than its competitors, Bryant provides truly individual homes.
Bryant varies brick and roof materials, uses decorative tiles and different roof heights and plots positions to create homes of distinctive character. On every development, Bryant gives each residence as much privacy and individual space as possible. Clusters of homes are situated on ‘meandering’ avenues, rather than straight roads and Bryant takes great care to preserve mature trees and hedgerows, producing a pleasant living environment with an ‘established’ feel.
Early in 1995, when sales of houses in the UK were falling, Bryant decided to increase specification with a view to unlocking additional value. In other words, the company decided to move into more elaborately designed houses with additional features. During this period, Bryant was able to gain a bigger market share by giving customers better value for money than its competitors, without increasing prices. By mid 1997, the housing market began to pick up again. Throughout this period, Bryant’s prime specification enabled the company to achieve a higher than average sales performance.
A major sales benefit has been derived over the years from Bryant’s attractive site layouts which provide a lower density than those of competitors. Continuing pressure from rising land prices has meant that industry densities have increased. Bryant has examined its site layouts, both for existing and proposed development and where appropriate, has increased densities while maintaining the Bryant image. The company has introduced some three storey designs that make use of loft space - providing more living area on the same piece of land. Bryant has also responded to demand for more urban development, with designs for apartments and ‘flatted’ schemes.