In reflecting on what you know and understand about the nature of services, consider how it is you would classify this service offering of the Ritz Carton Hotel?

DISCUSSION 1 ASSESSMENT (

SOURCES

Textbook

– Services Marketing Lovelock Patterson Wirtz 6th ed – Part 1, Chapter 3;

– Services Marketing Lovelock Patterson Wirtz 6th ed – Part 2, Chapters 4 & 5 (flowcharting & blueprinting)

Case Study

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company: The Quest for Service Excellence

DISCUSSION

Answer the following questions while using at least 2 academic references (400 words)

1. In reflecting on what you know and understand about the nature of services, consider how it is you would classify this service offering of the Ritz Carton Hotel?

2. Describe how this classification might impact upon the business strategy being adopted by the Ritz Carlton Hotel?

3. Describe how this strategy is delivered via the strategic manipulation of the 7Ps

4. Describe the processes that the Ritz Carlton Hotel adopt to manage the quality of their brand?

DISCUSSION 2 ASSESSMENT

INFORMATION

Branding in services

Branding allows Services to create a perceptual thing in the minds of consumers. It allows Service marketers to communicate its differences, to educate consumers about the brand, as well as what its benefits are. It also serves as a way to reduce the risk involved in purchase decisions. Strong brand allows consumers to visualise intangible elements, as well as reduce risk.

In the service branding model, developed by Leonard Berry (2000), the brand equity that a service brand has is not just the brand image that is controlled by the company, but is rather shaped by all external brand communication. External communication shaping the brand can also arise from areas that the company has no control over, namely, word of mouth or any kind of publicity. The stronger the communication, the stronger is the brands awareness, its image and hence its equity. However, this does not operate in isolation. The customers’ perceptions of communication, as well as their experience with the company and the brand, also go towards shaping brand equity.

A service branding model

 services brand model: company's presented brand + external brand communications + customer experience with company affects both brand awareness and brand meaning, which creates brand equity

DISCUSSION

Use at least 3 academic references in the discussion (400 words)

Think of a brand that has been in the news as a result of a recent controversy.

Think through and discuss its service branding model. How is that shaped by the various elements highlighted in the model?

Consider the brand equity that the company set out to create. How is that being affected by outside communication (word of mouth, publicity), as well as by customer experiences?

***Refer to the example below to see how it is written. The brand used is NOT to be used in the discussion**

Airbnb is an online business built around the ‘sharing economy’, community and relationships that is, customers (hosts and travelers)encouraged to believe they can belong anywhere in the world. 

As industry disruptor, Airbnb has faced some significant challenges in the short period of time the business has been in existence.  These include claims or racial discrimination and some unsavory behavior activity on its online platform.

Controversy has also arisen around its revenue model and the monetisation of private homes and whether people are in effect, running illegal hotels. This has been an issue raised by its main competitor, the hotel industry. Airbnb has also been scrutinised for flouting hotel regulation rules and undercutting commercial operators.

Presented Brand

A recent rebrand saw the business focus on accessibility and friendliness which may have been in part, a response to their claims. The new logo called the ‘Belo’ is a visual communication asset that defines this service model.  It was designed to incorporate an upside down heart, a paperclip and the letter ‘A’.  All elements that represent brand values and a visual cue.

Most of the advertising is done through word of mouth and online marketing including remarketing activities, and referrals.

The business allows individuals to open their homes to others for temporary accommodation in locations globally. Bookings are made online only, so the service model blueprint incorporates efficiency and communications as part of its delivery.

Airbnb’s internal mission statement of ‘Belong anywhere’ has grown into the company’s official tagline.

External Brand Communications 

Airbnb focus on community as their core business communications strategy. 

As mentioned, the new branding incorporates its brand values and it’s website is designed to offer functionality and an efficient user experience. This includes interface design features that support the customer completing their task ie. Book or search for accommodation, an experience or becoming a host.  These are the three key user defined goals for using the platform and they are made easy with a clean website to support this. Throughout the user journey the site also offers alternatives to consider such as experiences user may not have thought of, in a mindful and unobtrusive manner.

Word of mouth and referrals are key to the Airbnb brand experience as are peer reviews.  Social sharing is also an important factor and leads to stronger brand awareness through positive interactions and also increased brand equity with the business improving revenue through increased sale as a result.

Customer Experience with the Company

Airbnb expanded is service offering from an offering for budget travellers to quickly find a place to stay into a luxury options in exotic locations, that even movie stars use.

As outlined in Fortune’s online article, during the course of Airbnb finding a mission for its employees they also discovered a rebrand was necessary along the way. 

Employees are critical to service delivery and the gatekeepers of brand awareness etc. so it is critical  the company evolve its strategy to incorporate customer expectations and experience. This is explained as an interplay between what is envisaged as the company’s soul and the way it engages with the world.

DISCUSSION 3 ASSESSMENT

SOURCES

Case Study

Incredible India: The Evolution of Brand India

Consider the Incredible India campaign that commenced in 2002. Think about the challenges of services marketing.

– What were the intangible elements they grappled with? How did they address this?

– What did they want to educate the consumer about? How did they do this?

– How did they deliver on customer expectation?

– How did they differentiate India in the global tourism industry?

DISCUSSION

Use at least 2 academic references in the discussion (400 words)

Now imagine yourself in 2012. Think about the brand architecture of Incredible India and how that can transition over time, depending on strategy, and customer perceptions.

Evaluate the four brand strategies stated in the case and analyse the pros and cons of each of the strategies. What is your brand strategy to help rejuvenate the brand image of Incredible India?

The four brand strategy options:

1. a distinct symbol (umbrella brand) that expressed India as an anchor

2. an umbrella brand with distinct sub-brands

3. umbrella brand would only transfer general valued and credibility

4. multiple independent standalone brands.

DISCUSSION 4 ASSESSMENT

SOURCES

Textbook

– Services Marketing Lovelock Patterson Wirtz 6th ed – Part 3, Chapter 13;

Case Study

Marquee: Reinventing the Business Nightlife

DISCUSSION

Read through the Marquee case study, and answer the following questions while using at least 3 academic references in the discussion (300 words)

1. What is Marquee’s business model? What makes Marquee a “hot” nightclub? What are the key sources of revenues and costs (e.g. Exhibit 3)?

2. How important are the different customer segments to Marquee’s business? And what role do promoters play in managing the customer base?

3. How would you characterise the market for DJs? What is the source of the power of the superstars in this market? Can Strauss and Tepperberg do anything to control their rising fees?

DISCUSSION 5 ASSESSMENT

SOURCES

Case Study

Chantale and Clinton Call For Service

DISCUSSION

Use at least 2 academic references (250 words)

Read the case study on Chantale and Clinton, and based on your understanding of service failure, service recovery & service guarantees, answer the following questions:

– What were Chantale and Clinton’s service expectations? How did they develop?

– What do you believe were the underlying causes of The Canadian’s perceived performance?

– What service recovery alternatives were available to The Canadian?

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