A Case Analysis on Victoria Court’s Brand Image

Submitted In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for: MKT511M

  1. Case Background

A huge difference between the management’s and the consumer’s service and brand perception is hindering Victoria Court from fully operating as a unique hotel. As much as Victoria Court offers world-class luxurious rooms designed in different themes for good rest, private conversation and clandestine romance, its fast, efficient, and personalized services along with its well-trained customer-oriented staffs have been imprinted as nothing more but as a motel as its brand image to the consumers’ mind; a motel that can provide any couple extreme privacy and out-of-the-ordinary bedrooms of romance for few hours.  Quite the opposite from how its management perceives it to become, a drive-in hotel that caters not just to couples searching for few hours of private moments, but, too, for groups and individuals within and outside the metro who seek for a cheaper-than-a-hotel’s room rates but with ameneties, exclusivities and experiences far better than what any hotel can offer.

Armed with fabouluous amenities that would highly be priced by the popular hotels in the metro, Victoria Court aims to introduce and promote a unique hospitality company to groups and individuals (couples, families, officemates, travelers) searching for far less than the industry standard 24-hour stay and cheaper than any other hotel. Its communication efforts though appeared to be futile and without much success in changing the consumers’ mind. How it can managed to inform and to persuade consumers to believe that they can offer more than private bedrooms is the challenge.

  1. Statement of the Problem

Aiming to align the management’s and consumers’ service and brand perception, this paper is being guided by the question: How can Victoria Court change the consumers’ perception, its brand image, from being a motel company to being a unique drive-in hotel?

  • Objectives
  1. To change Victoria Court’s market image from being a motel company to being a unique drive-in hotel business.
  2. To enable Victoria Court to tap all its target market – couples, groups, families, travelers – and to penetrate the market using effective communication mixes and tools.
  1. Areas of Consideration

As Kotler and Keller stated, “the starting point of planning a marketing communication is an audit of all potential interactions that customers in the target market may have with the company and all its products and service.” To analyze then the possiblity of changing the consumers’ perception regarding Victoria Court’s image from being a motel to being a drive-in hotel as how management perceive it to be, the following areas are being considered to affect its branding:

  1. Industry Category (Product)

Drive-in Hotel Services: a niche industry categorized in between a high-priced hotel and cheap motel or loadges.  It offers variety of bedrooms depending on the size consumer needs. And just like a hotel’s room service, Victoria Court delivers cooked foods and special beverages to the room upon the guest’s request.

  1. Super Suites. This is Victoria Court’s top of the line rooms. It rivaled the rooms to 5-star hotels with their unique interior decor and amenities like a spa and a Jacuzzi. It is measured around 70 sqm making it convenient for group activities like parties and company functions. It is also equipped with a sound system to allow people with a craze for videoke and to vent to their singing urge.
  2. Mini Suites. These are the second line of special rooms. It had the same thematic design and amenities except for the sauna. These rooms are suitable for couples that just wanted private moments together.
  3. De Luxe Rooms. These rooms have their own garage to ensure the privacy of the guests. It is catered to the middle market where value for money determined their choice of accommodations. Each room was designed differently to conform to the Victoria Court policy that each room should be unique. All De Luxe rooms were equipped with ACU, cable TV, Karaoke, and mini ref complete with drinks.
  4. Standard Rooms. These are mostly occupied by taxi riding guests not needing space than what a good rest and their few belongings can be provided.
  1. Target Market (People)
  • Couples (married or not, same sex or not) that are looking for a private place to have a quality time together
  • Not below 18 years old unless accompanied by parents or a guardian
  • Travelers or foreigners that seek a place to rest that are affordable and easy on the budget
  • Car or vehicle riding couples that can park their automobile in a near and accessible area
  • Families seeking for quality time and dedicated place
  • Company / groups looking for places to conduct activities and events
  1. Location (Place)

Victoria Court locations are situated to areas branded and reputed as scandalous and shameless, besides famous cheap motels such as the flower group motels in Pasig.

  1. Availability / Reach / Affordability (Price)

Unlike any other hotel, Victoria Court offers less than the industry standard 24-hour stay at a much lower price depending on the room size and hours of stay the customers need.  Room rates are based per hour, per size. Number of occupants does not matter. Provincial travelers or business people who need only a place to leave their belonging for a couple of hours can confidently rent a room for a minimum of 2-hour stay at P215.00 only. While party people who perceived too dangerous to travel after midnight can stay four 3- to 4- hour stay at P995.00 to P1,595.00 only. Cost of renting decreases as per the number individuals sharing a room.

ROOM TYPE HOURS RATE OVERTIME 12 HOURS 24 HOURS
Standard          
Mabuhay 2 215 N/A N/A N/A
Regular 3 555 195 945 1,385
De luxe          
Mabuhay 3 435 N/A N/A N/A
Regular 3 895 295 1,485 2,235
Super de luxe 3 1,075 355 1,785 2,685
Suite          
Mini 3 995 N/A N/A N/A
Regular 4 1,595 525 2,645 3,190
Super 1 5 2,830 705 3,885 4,245
Super 2 5 3,395 845 4,665 5,095
  1. Analysis of the Case
  2. Porter Five Forces Analysis

Threat of New Entrants (new competitors)

There is a low barrier and high threat in putting up new facilities due to low capital investments compared to cost of building first class hotels

Threat of Substitute Products

There is a high barrier and low threat of substitutes since hotels are more expensive in terms of facility cost. However, a low barrier and high threat to motels and lodgings due to lower rates at the same time of stay offered by Victoria Court

Bargaining Power of Customers (buyers)

There is a low barrier and high threat of customers due to price sensitivity and number of existing competitors. The customers can easily be influenced by the low of price of motels and lodgings since the limited time will not utilize the entire services of the room and establishments.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers (raw materials, labor, services)

There is a high barrier and low threat of suppliers in terms of maintenance manpower services since most are in-house or employed especially the cooks and orderlies.

Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

There is a low barrier due to high Competition of existing number of competitors in motels and lodging facilities in every area.

  1. SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  • Well-known brand; high brand image & equity for offering a unique and private place to rest and spend time with the accompanied individuals
  • Can accommodate groups or individuals (couples, travelers, families, etc.)
  • Good and fast services in terms of accommodations, food preparations, cleaning and billing
  • Clean & quality facilities that are on par with high class hotels and above the standards of motels and lodgings
  • Good place & location for privacy, drive in garage (no walk in services)
  • Price is low compared to high class hotels offering the same quality of facilities and services

Weaknesses

  • High price compared to competitors like motels and lodgings
  • Brand identity and equity is defined on a niche market for clandestine services only
  • The brand equity is closely related to the rooms with bed
  • Limited number of rooms per place and area
  • Locations are situated in scandalous, shameless areas besides cheap motels

Opportunities

  • Untapped market for group’s/company’s/family’s activities and events
  • To offer a conference and activity area for companies
  • Party events and meeting accommodations for groups

Threats

  • High number of competition and many substitutes in terms of hotels, motels and lodgings nearby
  • Hotels offer lots of room functions other than bedrooms such as meeting rooms, ballrooms, and halls.
  • Customer’s price sensitivity in terms of facilities and services
  • Reputation of the areas where Victoria Courts are located is reputed by many as indecent and scandalous; consumers seen roaming in such areas are bound to be taunted or mocked at.

 

  1. SWOT Matrix
Strength Weakness
Opportunities 1.Market Development
Highlight the facilities, amenities and services at par with high-end hotels through event and experience promotions, public relation, and publicity
2.Brand Association
Link right association to the brand through endorsement or testimonials to persuade the target makets how its facilities and amenities is at par with high-end hotels.
5. Product Development
Bring-in new product offerings such as function rooms, karaoke, cinema, bar, restaurant, and spas that the target markets would enjoy while occupying a room alone or with the families, friends, or acquiantances, and highlight the new offerings through  event and experience promotions, public relation, and publicity
Threat 3. Market Penetration
Create brand awareness through aggressive promotion of the facilities, amenities and services at par with high-end hotels in events, television shows and movies to minimize and alter the indecent reputation of the areas to a much favorable impression.
4. Pricing Strategy
Highlight benefits of Victoria Court’s facilities and amenieties to high-end hotels and cheap motels
*Using the New Brand, Same Locations (Short Term)
Using the Same Brand, New Locations
(Long-Term)

6. Diversification
Create new facilities and functions that a hotel can offer such as function rooms(short term plan) and relocate to new areas of business (long-term plan) under a new brand name and logo: VC and build its brand awareness through aggressive promotions in events, television shows and movies

 

Marketing communication contributes to brand equity by establishing the brand in memory and creating a brand image (Kotler and Keller). Looking at the areas of consideration and the analysis, Victoria Court could have gotten its reputation as a motel in the minds of the consumers despite its world-class luxurious rooms because of the way it has communicated its operation, namely:

  1. Place: Victoria Court’s areas of business contribute to the consumer’s perception, branding Victoria Court as a motel instead of a drive-in hotel. The location pushed away other target markets except the couples, who in turn has strengthened its image as a motel.
  2. Product: Victoria Court’s lack of function rooms other than the bedrooms communicate little use to target markets not searching for a good rest and definitely not interested in a clandestine romance.
  3. Promotion: Victoria Court’s lack of brand association other than its private and exclusive out-of-the-ordinary bedrooms and its strong promotion of the bedrooms enabled consumers’ mind to link the brand to one purpose only: private clandestine romance.
  4. Price: Its specified hourly rate enabled couples to steal some time away from their day’s activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Communication Matrix
Creative Strategies Type of Communication Channels
Personal Channels Non-Personal Channels
Informational Appeal Brand Association (Expert Channel)

Product Development (Expert Channel)

Market Development

Product Development

Transformational Appeal Market Penetration (Positive Appeals) Diversification

 

  1. Alternative Courses of Action

ACA 1: Market: Penetration: Use transformational appeal tactics through personal channels to penetration the market on a multi-channel, multi-vehicle campaign

Victoria Court could opt to capitalize on their existing strengths such as their high brand image and equity, clean and quality facilities and good and fast services. They can use these to encourage the existing customers to further patronize their drive-in hotels and at the same time, maintain their dominant market share in the drive-in hotel industry.

Aggressive marketing promotions through events specifically made for the existing target market can be implemented. A pricing strategy, aimed at highlighting the value for money of Victoria Court facilities  can be implented simultaneously.  These two strategies can aid in repositioning the brand and at the same time broaden brand equity.

Advantages:

  • Transformational Appeal Tactic makes consumers relate feelings, images, or belief to their when they experience the Victoria Court service and facilities.
  • Personal Channel thtrough the use of an expert or a reliable endorser to convince consumers about the high quality of service and facilities that Victoria Court has to offer.
  • Market penetration will maintain Victoria Court’s market share.
  • Since the target market is already defined, the company can use all resources to persuade these customers to further patronize Victoria Court facilities.
  • This can potentially attract the competitor’s customers if the strategy is effective.
  • Market penetration can also encourage non-customers to experience the services Victoria Court has to offer.

Disadvantages:

  • Extensive marketing advertising and promotions is needed in implementing transformational appeal through personal channel.
  • Advertising and promotions will be very costly for Victoria Court.
  • If the market penetration strategy is effective, Victoria Court might have a hard time coping with the increase in customer check-ins. Unavailability of rooms might arise because of the sudden influx of customers.
  • In line with the influx of customers, current customers might think twice about revisiting Victoria Court branches because of the sudden surge of new customers. Privacy is sacrificed.
  • Market saturation. If Victoria Court has exhausted all avenues for market penetration, customers might opt to look for alternatives such as rival motels nearby.

 

ACA 2. Product Development: Use informational appeal tactic through non-personal channels to promote new developed product offerings on a multi-channel, multi-vehicle campaign

Since Victoria Court has several clean and quality facilities, they could renovate some of these facilities and convert them into function rooms. They could also expand the operation of its restaurants to serve buffets, gourmet lunch and dinners similar to what most of the popular hotels offer. The objective here is to align the services of Victoria Court to the hotel industry services.

Advantages:

  • Informational appeal tactic through non-personal channels will help build new brand knowledge among consumers.
  • Non-personal channels will reach a wider market, hence, will greatly contribute to building brand knowledge.
  • This strategy is aligned to the objective of the case which is to change the image of Victoria Court from being a motel to being a full service hotel facility.
  • Regular customers can experience the change in Victoria Court services and spread the news through word of mouth.

Disadvantages:

  • Non-personal channels will be costly for the company because of advertisements in broadcast and print media.
  • There is a need to continously advertise through different marketing tools to sustain the company’s objectives which to promote and highlight the new product offerings of Victoria Court.
  • Renovation will be costly for the company since it will entail renovation of all branches of Victoria Court.
  • Customers can be hesitant to try the new facilities given the location of all Victoria Court branches.

 

ACA 3. Market: Development: Use informational appeal tactic through non-personal channels to inform and persuade new target markets on a multi-channel, multi-vehicle campaign

            The objective of this strategy is to convince non-customers to try Victoria Court’s facilities. The company can hold events targeted at non-customers, wherein these events will showcase the company’s core competencies which are: clean and quality facilities and good and fast services.

In addition, management can opt to hire an endorser who will help them tap the non-customers market. Advertising and promotional materials through broadcast media and the internet can be implemented to highlight the company’s competencies.

Advantages:

  • Informational appeal tactic through non-personal channels is an effective tool to inform the new target market about the product offerings of Victoria Court.
  • Informational appeal tactic through non-personal channels will spark the interest of new customers to research further regarding the product offerings of Victoria Court. The information will be unbiased and free from opinions of other people so consumers can they for themselves how they would perceive the brand and the services it offers.
  • If effectively implemented, market share will incresase which means more profit for the company.
  • Victoria Court brand will be recognized by a larger market and thus introduce non-customers to other services offered by the hotel.

Disadvantages:

  • Since promotion will be through non-personal channels, the new target market will be unguided and will be left to come up with their own judgement.
  • Decision can be delayed because of the new target market’s hesitation to avail the products and services of Victoria Court.
  • This might have a negative effect on regular customers because the privacy setting of the branches will be compromised.

 

ACA 4. Market Diversification: Use transformational appeal tactics through non-personal channels to successful divert to new functions a multi-channel, multi-vehicle campaign

            Since the Victoria Court brand image is well known to be a popular chain of motels, management can opt to diversify it operations by creating new full service hotel under a totally different brand name.

Advantages:

  • Transformational appeal tactics through non-personal channels enables simultaneous advertising and promotion, thus reaching a wider target market at a shorter period.
  • This strategy will instill an emotional bond between the consumer and the product and services of the company. If consumers decide to avail the product and services and find out themselves that the experience is real, the credibility of the product and services and the company will increase along with satisfaction of the customer.
  • This strategy could give to word of mouth marketing through the experiences of highly satisfied customers.
  • This alternative course of action satisfies the problem of reinventing the image of Victoria Court.
  • Target market is broadened because the services offered is that of a full service hotel already.

Disadvantages:

  • If a consumer decides to avail of the product and services and is dissatisfied, he or she could spread negative publicity fo r the company.
  • This strategy puts the new brand image at high risk because of possibility of dissatisfaction among consumers.
  • The company will incur enormous costs with acquisition and construction of a full service hotel.
  • There is strong competition in the hotel industry in the Philippines.

VII. Conclusion and Recommendation

The group recommends implementation of ACA #4,  Market Diversifcation using transformational appeal tactics through non-personal channels. This alternative course of action will solve the problem of how to change the consumer’s perception of the Victoria Court brand. Furthermore, implementation of this ACA will not sacrifice the existing core competencies of the company which are good and fast services and clean and quality facilities.

Market diversification will also address the objectives of the case which is to change the image of the company from being a motel to being a full service hotel to e able to reach a wider target market.

Transformational appeal tactics will be a very effective tool to connect with the target market because the company will be building a bond with the customer. The tactic will relate the new brand image to a positive experience and this will encourage the customers to patronize the company’s products and services. In addition, if the consumer decides to avail of the product and services of Victoria Court, and is highly satisfied, it can result to word of mouth marketing which will contributely greatly to the objective of the company.

Advertising and promotions through non-personal channels will reach the target market simultaneously thus objectives will be achieved in a shorter span of time. Brand visibility will also be the result of this strategy which will build brand knowledge among consumers.

The only disadvantage of this alternative course of action is that it requires extensive preparation in the part of the Victoria Court management. In addition, market diversification will be very costly, hence, careful preparation is needed to make sure that money is well spent.

VIII. Action Plan

  1. Victoria Court’s Operation (Internal Tactic)
  1. Change facilities to introduce new brand image, service and functions and to accommodate the additional target market
  2. Rearranged/ categorize rooms according to functions
  3. Train staffs regarding the new brand image and services to properly communicate to customers
  4. Retain pricing tactic. Company will focus highlighting the value for money when avail of the Victoria Court products and services.
  5. In the future relocate to a place with a much decent reputation so as not to push away new customers

 

  1. Making the Communication Plan (External Tactic)
  1. Identify the target audience
  2. Determine the communication objectives
  3. Design the communication strategy
  4. Select the communication channels
  5. Establish the total marketing communiction budget
  6. Decide on the marketing communication mix
  7. Measure result
  8. Manages integrated marketing communication (IMC)

 

Rate of implementation and execution

Strategy                                                            Rate of execution        Reason

Market Penetration (present M & present P)                Fast                     Promotion

Market Development (new M & present P)                  Fast                     Promotion

Diversification (new M & new P)                                Slow                   Construction

Pricing strategy                                                                        Fast                     Advertising

 

  1. References
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About marvzmartinez
an Engineer

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