Target Market and Strategies
Winning the trust of guests into your hotel is a huge privilege, considering the stiff competition prevalent in the hotel industry. For Sheraton Hotel, winning a guest will not come simply by having beautiful swimming pools, well-manicured lawns and luxurious spas. It takes more than that. Sheraton Hotel & Resorts have adopted new techniques and strategies to attract more clients and to keep the current clientele satisfied. The brand has adopted a series of marketing strategies and target marketing so as to remain the leading luxury hotel brand in the world (Hotel Management Company - Hospitality Group - Xotels Ltd., 2009).
As the largest player in the luxury hotels sector, Sheraton Hotel has put a strong emphasis on its marketing and reservations systems sub-units. The hotel brand is concentrating on high-end luxury market segments, leaving its various business brands to focus on the secondary market segments. Sheraton Hotel is also a key player in the casino business, operating by the brand name Caesars. This way, the conglomerate is able to diversify risks and serve a wider market base. The hotel brand has also introduced a wide range of services and products to meet customers every need. An example of this is the Best Brew program that offers guests different brands of local and imported brews.
The company has more than 1,100 properties spread well over 100 countries, thus the need for a strong brand name. Branding is an essential marketing strategy as it enables your customers to relate with your product from any part of this globe. To achieve this, the company hired the services of a top-notch advert firm to spread the brand name to the vast populace of travelling clientele. The advert company, in collaboration with various airlines, designs attractive adverts tailored for the city they are travelling to.
The company, as a way of meeting the ever dynamic needs of its customers, undertakes periodic market research to establish what the customers really want and how best to provide for their needs. Moreover, the company employees have adopted a YES WE CAN attitude to serve best their clientele. In this way, the hotel brand will always have a competitive edge over its competitors (Travelweekly.com, 2013).
Luxury brand: Sheraton Hotel is reputed for having a strong brand name that offers unique services at affordable rates. The brand is also reputed for having a strong orientation towards developing and maintaining a good customer relationships.
Market diversity: the brand is seeing to enters into different global markets to reap the benefits of a fast growing tourism and travel industry in emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The loyalty program adopted by the hotel ensures that there is strong consumer loyalty to the brand.
The huge employee base is a major strength of the hotel giant as customers can have an individualized attention
Huge clientele base: the diversified markets and the top-notch services offered by Sheraton Hotel attract a huge clientele base. This, in turn, translates to greater revenue.
Customer orientation: Sheraton Hotel have their focus on their customers and how best to meet their needs. Conducting market research and surveys to determine the needs of the clientele helps the hotel brand come up with better services and products to satisfy their customer needs (MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share., 2016).
Major focus on the domestic market: although Sheraton Hotel has spread its wings and invested in foreign markets, it is still largely dependent on its domestic market such that any influence that affects the domestic market will impact negatively on the operations of the brand.
Focus on the luxury brand: the fact that Sheraton Hotel concentrates on high end markets makes it vulnerable to changing economic fortunes, especially considering the fact that economy travel nowadays has increased sharply (MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share., 2016).
Rapid growth in emerging markets: improved infrastructure, growth in the travel and tourism industries and improved political systems have seen the growth of emerging markets such as India and China, which are some of the Sheraton hotspots in these markets. In addition, an increased number of middle class earners are also a major boost for the hotel brand as it means that there is a high amount of disposable income available which the brand can tap into.
Diversified target market: the various hotel units in various parts of the world offers the hotel giant the opportunity to design unique products and services for each brand, specifically customized to meet the needs of the target population.
The economic recession that was witnessed recently implies that the spending power of most consumers has been weakened. Sheraton Hotel, through discounted rates, can tap into this to attract more consumers into its label and retain the existing clientele.
The advent of electronic media means that information can easily be accessed from anywhere in the globe and can reach a vast majority of customers in record time. Sheraton Hotel can tap into this window of opportunity by using the social media platform to promote its products and services.
The boom in the travel and tourism industry is a welcome phenomenon for the hotel brand as it can tap into the vast potential of this industry.
Terrorism: with increased terrorist attacks in the recent past, countries have resorted to issuing travel advisories to its nationals, implying that some markets will not be receiving tourists, a key source of income in the hotel business.
Stiff competition from other players in the market means that incomes are dwindling as the available customer base is shared by many businesses.
Political instability in different parts of the world means that the businesses will not run efficiently. Tourists will not visit, and replenishment of supplies will be hampered.
New business brands offer stiff competition to the existing business brands. Customers always tend to check out new brands, leaving the old ones starved of customers.
Highly trained employees who can best serve high end clientele might be in short supply. The few available ones might be forbiddingly expensive to hire.
Sensitive clientele: bad reputation from one brand might spoil the entire image of the brand. This might lead to loss of goodwill which translates to decreased revenues (MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share., 2016).
Hotel Management Company - Hospitality Group - Xotels Ltd.,. (2009). Hotel Customers Segmentation - Niche Marketing Target Market. Retrieved 19 February 2016, from http://www.xotels.com/en/marketing/niche-marketing
MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share.,. (2016). Starwood Hotels and Resorts | SWOT Analysis | USP & Competitors | BrandGuide | MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share.. Retrieved 19 February 2016, from http://www.mbaskool.com/brandguide/tourism-and-hospitality/4276-starwood-hotels-and-resorts.html
Travelweekly.com,. (2013). Starwood changes marketing strategy for Le Meridien: Travel Weekly. Retrieved 19 February 2016, from http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Hotel-News/Starwood-changes-marketing-strategy-for-Le-Meridien/
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