Thesis statement: Westin hotels and resorts managed to attain high market share and margins through lifestyle experience branding strategy and new service culture.According to Kapoor, Paul Halder (2011), the brand positioning strategy combined both tangible and non-tangible aspects of the service since the hotel managed to purchase the ‘heavenly bed’ that would afford the guests a comfortable sleep. The bed design addressed the previous guest complaints of uncomfortable shower curtains through the dual-headed showerhead and curtain rods with additional elbowroom inches. Furthermore, the bed experience was enhanced through ‘heavenly Crib that included 100% cotton-fitted sheets and mattresses with coils instead of the normal foam mattresses (Frei, Dev Stroock p 4). Another physical selling point was the workout facility that comprises state-of-the-art equipment and Reebok-designed regimens that appealed to travelers. However, other competitors such as Hilton and Marriott countered this approach by upgrading the bed facilities such as duvet covers and pillows thus creating a ‘bed war’. According to bed programs of major competitors in 2005, Sheraton hotels had plus top mattresses with sheets and duvets while Hampton Inn had Serta perfect sleepers tranquility with 200-thread fitted sheets and raised bed headboard. However, all major competitors had not implemented the ‘heavenly bed’ that was attracting a high audience and market share in the market. The heavenly bed was a game-changer since it has pillow-top Simmons mattress with 900 individual coils and blankets that catered for different climates. In this case, the hotel could compete with the upper end of the upper scale segment hotels like Omni and InterContinental.
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