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Assignment Take Home Quiz

Added on -2019-09-18

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TAKE HOME QUIZ General Guidelines The take home quiz serves a dual purpose. First, it allows me see how well you are able to integrate and apply the course material covered in class to a new type of situation. Second, it allows you to synthesize the material and use it to construct thought pieces or opinions onan issue. And, an opinion that is well grounded is likely to carry more weight. I hope that youwill use this as an opportunity to practice coming up with such an opinion. To accomplish these two objectives, I typically give a set of readings and ask you to come up with a position statement or a thought piece. What I look for is your ability to use frameworks and concepts discussed in class to arrive at this “position statement” or a “point of view”. Thus, after reading the news stories, you might believe that the strategy being followed by the company is likely to lead to success (or not) and you might have reasons for these beliefs. However, in stating your position, you need to provide a logical analysis of the situation using concepts discussed in class. Some points to keep in mind: 1.You will be graded on your ability to integrate and apply course concepts to the situations/issues described. 2.I look for logically constructed “position statements” or “observations” where one idea follows systematically from the previous one. I am very picky about how arguments are constructed and how they are expressed. Therefore, please pay careful attention to the logical flow of ideas. It helps to keep in mind where you are going so that you do not lose track of the main points you wish to make and supporting arguments all lead to that point. 3.Communicate clearly. Brand managers have to be good communicators. Clarity of thought is often a precursor to good communication. Likewise, poor communication of ideas suggests muddy thinking. So, I pay special attention to how well you are able to communicate. If you were writing an op-ed piece for the South China Morning Post– commenting on this case – think about how would you write it and give me the equivalent. 4.Don’t forget the footnotes and citations. Proof read your work. 5.I don’t have a fixed page limit but a 5-page document (single spaced) would be in the ballpark. This does not include appendices, references, etc. You will have 1 weekto work on an assignment. It is due on December 9th (midnight – 11:59 pm ). QuestionAttached are a few articles describing how two companies are attempting to move upmarket. The first, is the Ritz Carlton. It is attempting to reinvent itself by going even more upmarket with its new offering “The Ritz Carlton Reserve”. There are many articles on the web pertaining to this issue. However, the ones included here are representative. The second company is Hyundai with its launch of the Equus. Please read these articles and play the role of an independent consultant. How could you use the course concepts discussed so
far to come up with a position statement about the likely success of these strategies for the two companies. Given below are a few tips on what you can bring to bear on this issue: a) Brand equity frameworks to assess the strengths and weaknesses (e.g., Keller’s model to build brands, Aaker’s model components etc.) of each company. Use it to discern any potential problems are likely to arise b) Consumer knowledge structures about the brands in question (awareness – recall/recognition; user imagery, attributes central to the brand, attitudes); Associative network models, negative associations that might exist) c) Competitive set, priming, context effects etc. – how will this change with the upmarket move. What will it do to the product line?d) How will the move upmarket fare – what is the objective here (changing target market, profits, satisfying needs, line extension etc..) and what are the potential risks when it comes to erosion of brand equity. Good luck!
RITZ CARLTON ARTICLESIS THE RITZ CARLTON REINVENTING ITSELF OR LOSING ITSELF?Ritz-Carlton Dresses DownAug 07, 08 | 12:10 amThere's a new look in Ritz-Carlton lobbies across the country: casual elegance.Particularly at the newer Ritz-Carlton resorts, the formal, somewhat stuffy style for which the brand is known is being updated with a look that is more relaxed and in keeping with theproperties' settings. At the Ritz-Carlton Grand Lakes, Orlando, Fla., for example, the dress code for staff is a Tommy Bahama shirt with a collar. No tie. And the interior design, while still redolent of silk, damask, and marble, feels more relaxed than the typical urban Ritz-Carlton.Ditto for the spectacular but similarly dressed-down Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas. Here, the Mediterranean design aesthetic is completely different.How far is too far? According to one Ritz-Carlton spokesperson, “We're not going to lose our core customers by allowing people to come to the dining room in flip-flops and crop tops.”Reinventing the Ritz-CarltonOn this winter morning in 2007, a strategic planner, Mark Miller, from a boutique ad agency has tacked up art from dozens of advertisements for luxury hotels in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s Maryland offices. He has done it to prove an absurd truth: nearly every brand in the category uses the same imagery, the same tonality—everything but the same models. He gives the company’s executives time to absorb the scene, then issues a challenge. “Whichof these ads,” he asks, “is yours?”The question is very relevant. Not long before, Simon Cooper, Ritz-Carlton’s president and COO, and Bruce Himelstein, senior vice president of sales and marketing, had arrived from parent company Marriott eager to liberate Ritz-Carlton from the coat-and-tie formality that had characterized the chain since its 1983 inception. One obstacle, as Mark Miller had so vividly identified, was its dated and old marketing formula. But that stale imagery was symptomatic of a deeper, more fundamental problem: how to invigorate a brand freighted with a concept of luxury as it existed in 1927, when the original Ritz-Carlton opened in Boston?The hotels themselves stood firmly in another era, their heavy drapes closed against the sunlight. The public spaces within were dark, full of wood and marble, and overtly masculine. Their dining rooms served the usual American standards with gracious formality but little verve. And every property looked more or less identical: a cross between an Italianate mansion and an English country manor that had been outfitted by Donald Trump. Until a guest emerged blinking into the bright Phoenix morning, he could have been in Philadelphia...or Tysons Corner, Virginia...or most any Ritz-Carlton in the world. “We had no
sense of place,” remembers Herve Humler, a 25-year veteran of the company and now the president of Ritz-Carlton International.Until Simon Cooper’s ascendance as COO, that’s just how Ritz-Carlton wanted it. “What worked initially was, build all the hotels the same so that people will recognize them,” says Himelstein, and such uniformity served it well. From 1983 to 1993, the brand grew from a single hotel to 30, while stamping an image of tasteful opulence on the consciousness of American travelers. Then the ground shifted. As wealth proliferated among the young, the innovative, and other demographic categories not typically associated with blue blazers and Hermès ties, a different group emerged: one favoring experiences that were unique, authentic, and not easily available for purchase. That might mean a trip to the sold-out Masters Tournament, a day of skiing on a pristine mountaintop, a glimpse of a celebrity. It didn’t mean a stay in one of the dozens of carbon-copy Ritz-Carltons around the world, no matter how polite the doorman.The very predictability that consumers had found so desirable was now a hindrance to attracting a new generation. These “discerning affluents,” as Miller calls them, were willing to sacrifice the comfort of a familiar setting for an experience they could talk about back home. “What they want,” Miller says now, “is to collect stories.”Toward that end, Cooper and Himelstein engineered one of the swiftest—and arguably mostimportant—corporate makeovers in recent hospitality history, a paradigm shift that invertedRitz-Carlton’s long-standing relationships to product and place. The first of the new Ritz-Carltons opened as something of an experiment in April 2003, in a retrofitted civic incinerator in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. Another followed that New Year’s Eve in a restored Modernist landmark in South Beach.These properties looked like no Ritz-Carlton before them—and felt different, too. Flexibility came above bellhop livery and dress. Sense of place subordinated continuity with the brand.To some loyalists both inside and outside the company, the changes seemed jarring, almost profane. When Team One was awarded the account in late 2004, replacing a conglomerationof various agencies, Miller found a chasm between those who believed the new approach would ultimately save Ritz-Carlton, and those who saw it as the road to ruin. “People who’d been with the company for years felt strongly that the dark wood and chandeliers defined the brand,” he says.But Cooper had seen the future, and it didn’t include heavy drapes. His team of outsiders forged ahead. South Beach and Georgetown became models for the next wave of Ritz-Carltons, which were integrated into singular sites such as Bachelor Gulch, Colorado; downtown New York; Moscow, just off Red Square; and Beijing’s Financial Street. All of themuse setting and local culture to determine design components, such as a cowboy bar in Bachelor Gulch and a feng shui–inspired floor plan and tea apothecary in Beijing.Older properties followed suit. Many of the formal dining rooms have been replaced by jazzyrestaurants run by celebrity chefs, including Eric Ripert, Dean Fearing, Gordon Ramsay, Laurent Tourondel, and Wolfgang Puck. Today’s Ritz-Carltons are asked by Cooper to emphasize singular experiences (or “scenography,” in the Miller lexicon). In Cancún, scenography means an Aztec fire ceremony every Saturday. At the Lodge at Reynolds
Plantation, in Georgia, it means serving spiced pecans to guests during check-in, with the scent of fresh magnolias in the air. The concept can get carried to the point of absurdity— asat Bachelor Gulch, where the house Labrador retriever is available to accompany guests up the mountain for an afternoon of snowshoeing—but the point is clear: Let no one ever againbe able to claim that Ritz-Carltons are all the same.Has the message been heard? We’ll find out this summer when Cooper ups the ante. A new brand, dubbed the Ritz-Carlton Reserve, debuts with the Phulay Bay resort in Krabi, Thailand.A second Reserve, Molasses Reef in Turks and Caicos, is slated to open in January 2009, with as many as 10 more coming by 2015. The idea is to attract sophisticated travelers to unintrusive, ecologically friendly properties in remote areas, where they’ll bask in site-specific splendor. To anyone who hasn’t stayed in a Ritz-Carlton in the past five years, of course, such cultural immersion will seem bewildering at best. This isn’t about the lack of oil paintings on the walls; the living areas at Phulay Bay don’t even have all their walls. Meals there are so informal, they’re served on the beach upon request. Even the familiar blue lion-and-crown logo will be hard to find.None of this will seem particularly novel to people who frequent the far-flung adventure resorts that now dot the globe, but it will be quite a stretch for the stalwart Ritz-Carlton customer. And that’s precisely the idea. If trust in the brand can lure its longtime customers slightly further into the wild...and a few extreme travelers can be persuaded that creature comforts don’t detract from the authenticity of their eco-experience, Ritz-Carlton just might co-opt an entire niche category.YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE PROPERTIES HERE ARTICLE ON ONE OF THE PROPERTIESA Ritz Ups the Ante in Puerto Rico with a Ritz-Carlton Reserve HotelLaura Magruder for The New York TimesPool at Su Casa, part of the new Dorado Beach resort in Puerto Rico.By BROOKS BARNESTO reach Ritz-Carlton’s newest and most opulent resort, you drive through a forest of coconut palms, swamp bloodwoods and flame of the woods flowering shrubs until the road ends at a wall of water. It’s a fountain of a sort, and behind its soft gurgle stretches Dorado Beach, a $342 million hotel built along three miles of toasty Caribbean sand. At the center ofthe resort, which opened Wednesday, guests will find a labyrinthine infinity pool with a “bubble bed” in its center, a four-bedroom villa that rents for $30,000 a night and a spa composed of 22 buildings that sprawl across five acres and includes treatment platforms
built into treetops.Can these kinds of over-the-top amenities make modern travelers — the status-conscious, ultra-wealthy kind — take a chance on Puerto Rico?That is the hope. Resorts catering to 1 percenters pepper the Caribbean, so Ritz-Carlton, which is using Dorado Beach to introduce its new super-high-end Reserve chain to North America, knew it needed a lot of wow to get noticed. But Dorado Beach, despite its luxury and a history featuring Laurance S. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart and Old Hollywood stars, must also overcome one dominant and indelible fact: It is in a corner of the Caribbean that for decades has been more associated with grit than glamour.True, the “Island of Enchantment,” as Puerto Rican tourism officials market their home, has improved its reputation in recent years, helped by the Navy’s decision to end bombing exercises on Vieques and the arrival of a St. Regis resort east of San Juan in 2010. But amongthe moneyed guests that Dorado Beach hopes to attract — rooms start at $1,499 a night — Puerto Rico still ranks low on the must-visit list, according to travel agents who specialize in the Caribbean. “We still need to get rid of the ‘West Side Story’ image,” Friedel Stubbe, a Dorado Beach developer, told me bluntly. “It’s not nice to say, but it’s true.”Ritz-Carlton has some image issues of its own. The chain without question still commands respect among affluent travelers, travel agents say. But some fans worry that Marriott International, which fully took over Ritz-Carlton in 1998, has watered down the brand by opening hotels that are more utilitarian than special, like one in Los Angeles where Ritz-Carlton and Marriott share an unattractive downtown complex. The Reserve brand, designedto be a chain of 20 resorts, is meant to plant Ritz-Carlton’s blue flag at the tippy top of the travel market, which is starting to boom again following four years of retrenchment. Dorado Beach joins a Reserve property in Krabi, Thailand, which opened in 2009. Herve Humler, Ritz-Carlton’s president and chief operations officer, says Reserve resorts are in the works for Oman, Morocco and Mexico.To make Dorado Beach a success, Ritz-Carlton is leaning hard on the property’s past as a playground for the rich and famous. We’re not talking about the recent past, when a Hyatt-owned hotel on the property fell so badly into disrepair that in 2006 it was closed, boarded up and ultimately demolished. Rather, the era Ritz-Carlton is trying to conjure started in 1920s, when Dorado Beach was still a grapefruit and coconut plantation owned by a woman named Clara Livingston.Ms. Livingston, known for carrying a pistol and doting on her two Great Danes, Simba and Chang-Chang, lived alone on the plantation, running it from Su Casa, a 6,000-square-foot Spanish colonial hacienda overlooking the ocean. A love of airplanes (she served as a commander of the Puerto Rican branch of the Civil Air Patrol at one point) brought her into contact with Amelia Earhart, who became a friend and stayed at Su Casa days before disappearing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.Caribbean Property Group, which owns Dorado Beach with Mr. Stubbe and brought in Ritz-Carlton to operate it, spent $2 million to refurbish Su Casa, now the villa that rents for

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