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The Taj- Using brand architecture to

restore a legend

Dr Amit Rangnekar

Case learnings
Hotel Industry
Taj Hotels Origin

Competitive Strategy
Brand Architecture

Branding models

Luxury branding
Brand building
Brand
architecture
Brand portfolio
Branding models

R
k

Group

Countr
y

Hotel
s

Rooms

IHG (Intercontinental, Holiday Inn,


Crowne Plaza, Indigo)

UK

4186

619851

Wyndham (Ramada, Days Inn,


Microtel)

USA

7043

592880

Marriott (Courtyard, Ritz-Carlson,


Renaissance, Fairfield)

USA

3088

545705

Hilton (Hilton, Waldorf, Astoria)

USA

3259

544361

Accor (Accor, Sofitel, Novotel)

France

3982

478975

Choice (Cambria)

USA

5827

472526

Best Western

USA

4032

305387

Starwood (Sheraton, Westin, Le


Meridien)

USA

942

284800

Carlson (Radisson, Park Plaza)

USA

1013

151487

USA

373

114343

10 Hyatt

India-110,000 hotel rooms, 50000 rooms short, 140,000


rooms N5Y
Indian hotel industry $17 billion, 30% organised, CAGR 9%
$12 billion investment by 2011, 20 international brands
entering
Organised sector- 5 Stars contribute 58%, consolidated
Indian players- Taj, Oberoi, Leela, ITC, Lalit
PSU players- ITDC, HCI
Foreign players- Hilton, Intercontinental, Sheraton,
Radisson, Marriott, Renaissance, Hyatt
New entrants- Four Seasons, Westin, Shangri-La
Imminent entry- Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton, Carlson

Criteria
Skilled staf

1Star

2Sta 3Sta 4Star 5star


r
r
40%

50%

60%

60%

Valet parking

Room internet

Restaurants

20%

30%

5star
deluxe

Dining room

Multi
cuisine

Room service
Room size sq
ft
Bathroom

Multi- cuisine
+ 24 hours cofee
shop
+ 1 speciality
restaurant
24 hours

120

140

200

Attached

Attached with

City /
Region

INDIA HOTEL Review Q4 2008, Knight


Frank

Average Room
Rent Rs

Average
occupancy%

10000

77

Jaipur

6000

64

Kolkata

6500

65

Mumbai

8000

74

Pune

7500

75

Goa

5500

50

Bangalore

12500

60

Hyderabad

6500

55

Kochi

4000

70

Chennai

4500

65

NCR

Indian Hotels & subsidiaries collectively known as Taj Hotels


Oldest, most visible symbol of Taj group, No.1 luxury hotel
player
Opened 1 hotel every 6 weeks for last 7 years
2009- 25% share of luxury hotel industry (4*, 5*, 5* deluxe)
Sales Rs 2521 (2686), including all subsidiaries
Economic downturn, 2 year hotel closure- shoddy
performance
Hotels 90%, Air catering 8%, others 2%
67 hotels, 45 Indian locations, 15 international- UK, US, UAE,
Malaysia, Bhutan, China, Sri Lanka, Africa, and Australia
Metros, industrial towns, beaches, hill stations, historical and
pilgrim centres, wildlife destinations, spas

Palaces

Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

Tata Sons
Indian
Hotels
Subsidiaries
Domest
ic
Ideal Ice & Cold
Storage
Benares Hotels
Taj Air
Piem Hotels
Taj Trade
Taj Enterprises
Taida Trading
Inditravel
Oriental Hotels
Taj Madurai

Internatio
nal
Taj Asia
Taj International
South Africa
Taj Asia (Thailand)
Taj Lanka Resorts
Taj Lanka Hotels

Associates

JV
Domestic

International Hotel Management


Taj Madras Flight Kitchen
Taj International Hotels (H.K.) Taj Karnataka Hotels
St. James Court Hotel
Taj Kerala Hotels
Chieftain Corporation
Taj GVK Hotels
IHOCO BV
Taj Safaris
Taj International Hotels
Samsara Properties
IHMS (Australia) Pty
IHMS (Restaurants) Pty Limited
Apex Hotel Management
Services
IHMS (HK) Limited

Internati
onal
Tifco Holdings
KTC Hotels
United Hotels
Taj SATS Air Catering
Residency F&B
Innovative Foods

Palaces

Ummaid Bhawan, Jodhpur

JN Tata disallowed entry into Watson Hotel, built own grand


hotel
1903- The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, cost Rs 25 lakhs
Architectural marvel Hotel second to none, east of the Suez
30 suites, 4 electric elevators, 17 guests
Power laundry, electric irons, Turkish baths, Pharmacy, postofice
Tata toured London, Berlin, Paris hotels for ideas & items,
sons Dorab & Ratan, put their hearts and heads to ensure
father's desire
1906, Indian Hotels Company, capital worthRs 30 lakhs
1968, new tower, added to heritage wing, 225 to 565 rooms

Mumbai
1st building to be lit by electricity
1st hotel to have a laundry
1933 1st licensed bar the Harbour Bar (bar licence no 1)
India
1st hotel with refrigeration plant, aerated water bottling
plant
American fans, German elevators, chandelier polishing
machines, Turkish baths and English butlers
Electroplating /burnishing for silverware, crockery
washing plant
1933 1st all-day dining restaurant, 1st 24-hour cofee shop
1st international discotheque
Finest collections of art, artefacts and collectibles

Hotel idea not conceived as a business idea, yet managed


well
Leadership from day 1- sterling service and luxury
Smooth sailing for 50 years, stood for class and comfort
Viceroys of the Empire, heads of state, whos who
No direct advertising to the consumer till the 1990s
1970s- Pioneered conversion of royal palaces into hotels
Invested in Goa, Varanasi, Kerala- then not foreign
tourist spots
Started flight kitchens
Feudal organisational structure- 49 GMs reporting directly
to MD

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, New Delhi

1st developed Goa and Kerala as premium Indian leisure


destinations
Ads sold the destination first and through it the hotel
"Nobody buys a hotel, they buy the experience. Our
campaigns were largely built around the approach of 'see
India through the eyes of the Taj'. Once India was sold, the
game plan changed.
Brand communication stressed on the strength of the
chain in India. 'India's first hotel chain; South Asia's
largest
The Taj ofered its customers a fine balance between
traditional India its hospitality, culture and service
and cutting-edge technology.

Vivanta by Taj, Maldives

3 key segments- Business, Leisure and Luxury


Operations aligned to meet these distinct segments
Major renovation, revamping and refurbishing, $100m
Emphasis on lucrative, price insensitive business segment
Business floors with lounges, connectivity and
communications
Luxury segment for traditional loyalists
Divested unprofitable ventures
Special emphasis on retaining talent, global benchmarking
Advertising in key markets- US, UK, Germany, Singapore,
HK

Concern- traditional customer base shrinking


Challenge retain existing, remain relevant to newer
customers
Consumer needs, changing lifestyles, evolving F&B
preferences
High unaided recall, consumers prefer exclusivity,
desire personalised service, appreciate how the Taj
balances contemporary and the traditional with such
lan
Ads sold the destinations first and through it the hotel
Campaigns- built around 'see India through the eyes of
the Taj

Safari

Taj Luxury Wildlife Lodge, Bandhavgarh

Need- Identify and reinforce


distinct brand identity, consumer
attitudes towards Taj, position
for the new millenium
Focus groups, surveys, in-depth
interviews on: check-in quality ,
smile, greeting, hospitality,
service, cuisine, need gaps
Taj essence - warm, caring,
intuitive and hospitable
Taj personality- caring,
enigmatic woman who stands for
great hospitality & eficiency

Corporate campaign-

She is the Taj,


Nobody cares as

Need- create a more vibrant, dynamic and global personality


for Taj
Focus groups, surveys, in-depth interviews
Taj kept pace with technology advancements, without losing
its warmth and caring. Taj was eficient and modern, yet
traditional in its respect and care for people. The personality
was that of a traditional, graceful, Indian woman.
Brand communication- 'India's 1st hotel chain; South Asia's
finest
'Taj Group of Hotels changed to 'Taj Hotels, Resorts and
Palaces'
Palaces used consciously as a key diferentiator.
Next- augment the perception of eficiency, add new layers to
its personality, while retaining the elegance of 'She is the Taj

Lake Palace, Udaipur

1970s- new business/tourist destinations


1974- beach resort, Fort Aguada, Goa
1970s- palaces- Lake Palace & Rambagh Udaipur, Jodhpur
Metros- 1974 Chennai, 1978 Delhi, 1984 Bangalore, 1989 Kolkata
1980s- international- Yemen, UK- Crown Plaza, St. James Court,
1990s- class A cities, wildlife lodges, beach resorts, palaces, spas
2000+- luxury serviced apartments, VFM hotels
International- US, Australia, China, Dubai, Maldives, Malaysia,
South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Yemen and Zambia

Strategy

1970s

1980s 1990s

New
Markets

Resorts, Palace
religiou s
s

Licensing

Domesti
c

InternationalYemen, UK

JV

Flight
Caterin
g

Kerala
TDC

M&A

Managem
ent
contracts

2000+
Spas, wildlife lodges,
serviced apartments,

GVK

Jaisalmer, Gwalior
UAE, Bhutan, South
Africa
US- Pierre, Ritz
Carlton, Campton,
Aus
Dubai, Maldives,
Beijing

Grande Room, Taj, Mumbai

Since every hotel, irrespective of its size, had a Taj tag, it


was a major challenge for us to diferentiate the product
in terms of quality and service standards, said Bickson,
Clients confused with what brand Taj stands for.?
Rebrand properties, relate to features, clearly demarcate
segments
Why Now- Taj legacy complex
In a rush to create more brands, many forget that
adding a name to a property must be accompanied by the
larger brand experience. Brands need clarity on concept,
on positioning, which many top luxury chains lack
Rajinder Kumar, FHRAI

Restaura
nts

An

organizing structure, family tree or hierarchy of the brand

portfolio that specifies brand roles & nature of relationships


between brands and sub brands (Aaker & Joakimsthaler)
Players as brands on a Football pitch as the market map
Players play specific roles (midfield, flanks, defence) yet
contribute to team
Some are stars (superbrands) others in the background
(support brands)

Individual players benefit from identity & communication


x

programs
x

x
x

Source: Designing brand architecture (Davidson, 2002, portfolio managing matters. Brand Strategy pp 28-29)

35

Confusion to Clarity

Strategic portfolio management across price tiers and usage occasion

36

Conferences

Brand

Segmen Features
t

Full service
Taj Hotels, Luxury
Palaces & premium hotels, resorts
and palaces
Resorts

Target
Traditional hospitality in
a refreshingly modern
way to create unique
experiences and lifelong
memories

Full service
Exotic locale, privacy &
Taj Exotica Luxury
premium resorts and spas intimacy
Taj Safaris Luxury

Luxury wildlife
lodges

Nature and wildlife


enthusiasts

Premium Upper upscale


hotels & resorts

Contemporary and
creative, full-service,
hospitality experience

Midmarket

Business and leisure


travelers

Upscale/midmarket hotels &


resorts

Taj Luxury

Taj Premium

Gateway
TGH

Overseas

The Taj Mahal,


Mumbai
Taj Lands End,
Mumbai
Taj Mahal, New Delhi
Taj Palace, New
Delhi
Taj Bengal, Kolkata
Taj West End,
Bangalore
Taj Lake Palace,
Udaipur
Taj Wellington Mews,
Mumbai
Taj Coromandel,
Chennai
Taj Krishna,
Hyderabad
Rambagh Palace,
Jaipur
Umaid Bhawan,
Jodhpur

Taj Connemara, Chennai


Taj Exotica, Goa
Fort Aguada, Goa
Taj Holiday Village, Goa
Usha Kiran, Gwalior
Taj Hari Mahal, Jodhpur
Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
Taj Residency, Aurbad
Taj President, Mumbai
Taj Residency, Blore
Ambassador, New Delhi
Taj Banjara, Hyderabad
Taj Deccan, Hyderabad
Taj Chandigarh,
Taj Residency, Lucknow
Taj Blue Diamond, Pune
Fisherman's Cove,
Chennai
Taj Malabar, Cochin
Taj Garden Retreat,
Kumarakom
Taj Green Cove Resort,
Kovalam
Sawai Madhopur Lodge
Ramgarh Lodge, Jaipur
Taj Residency, TVM

Bangalore (2)
Calicut
Khajuraho
Savoy, Ooty
Jaisalmer
Bangalore
Sasan Gir
Baramati
Vpatnam
Madurai
Coonoor
Mangalore
Agra
Nasik
Varanasi
Ernakulam
Varkala,
Chikmagalur
Surat
Vijaywada
Ahmedabad
Vadodara
Jaipur
Jodhpur

The Pierre, New York


Taj Boston, Boston
Taj Campton Place, San
Francisco
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa,
Maldives
Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai
Crown Plaza / St. James
Court, London
51 Buckingham Gate, London
Taj Cape Town, South Africa
Colombo (2)
Bentota
Maldives
Malaysia
Bhutan
Lusaka
Colombo
Australia

Vivanta by Taj

Wildlife Resorts
Bandhavgh
Pench

Taj, South Africa

41

Luxury resorts- Exotica Brand- Indian Ocean


Business and resort destinations- Middle East and Africa
5 Star/ deluxe- Australia, UK, US, UAE, Africa, Asia
Serviced apartments- UK
Jiva Spas- tranquillity and total wellness
Taj Air, luxury Falcon 2000 private jets
Taj Yachts, 2 luxury yachts 3-bedroom in Mumbai and Kochi
Taj Sats Air Catering (JV Singapore Airport Terminal
Services, subsidiary of Singapore Airlines)- airline catering
service
Indian Institute of Hotel Management,
Aurangabad(1993)

Air

Falcon 2000, 8 Seater Luxury Plane

280-room heritage wing, closed for over 18-months


Strong building foundation, some walls 2 feet thick
Extensive renovation, restoration, upgrade @Rs 200
crore
Artworks, antiques, furniture, fixtures and fittings
Restaurants - Wasabi, Harbour Bar, Shamiana,
Aquarius, Souk, Golden Dragon, Masalacraft,
Starboard Bar, Zodiac Grill
'Tajness' of the hotel retained
This venerable old lady is going to reopen with the
splendour that it has enjoyed for over a century"
RNT

Promotion- 1st time ever ofer of free nights in suites


Complimentary night for every night spent in a suite
3rd night free for every 2 nights at the Luxury
Grande rooms
Packages at various resorts in of season /season
Inner Circle, Taj Junior Club- customer loyalty
program
Global tourist exhibitions to promote holiday
packages

Seagull Suite, Taj, Mumbai

Palace wing 285-rooms, suites down from 45 to 42,


spacious
19 themed suites- Coral, Maratha, Dutch, Aquarius, Sea
Gull etc
The Tata suite, markrana marble- reserved for heads of
states
Ravi Shankar duplex suite- Beatles' George Harrison
taught sitar by Ravi Shankar, donated one sitar
Luxury suites 24-hour personalised butler service
Airport transfers by Jaguars and Bentleys
Exclusive private retreat, hi-tech security and gadgets
Multimedia systems, emergency escape route, access
control elevators, upped luxury quotient

Suite

@Rs /night

Features

Tata Suite

600,000

5,000 sqft, full


wing

Grand Luxury
Suites

170,000

Luxury

120,000

Executive

95,000

Taj Club
75,000
Oberois
868
sqft Premier
Suite with ocean views
Taj Palace
base
20,000
@Rs
90,000, Presidential suites @Rs 3 lakh a night
rooms

Grand Stair case and Dome, Taj,


Mumbai

Segment

Luxury

Premium

Mid-market

Value

Architecture
Geo
Current
Hotels

Global
64

India
3

India
0

India
30

Reflag as

30

20

17

60

Strategy

JV, associate companies, management


contracts
Global rank 49th to 15th by 2014

Rank
Targets

95 properties / 11,000 rooms to 193/ 23,000


2014
N3Y Rs 1000 crby
investment,
sales $2bn,
35,000 staf

Pierre

Ownership to partnership
Global outlook
Focus- management contracts, strategic acquisitions and
expansion
Brand architecture- clarity
Evolving with changing tastes
"Our strategy to be asset-light will allow us to move in
quickly. We are looking at management contracts. Four
Seasons works on the same model. They have many
hotels around the world but own only a few. But the level
and standard of service is the same everywhere. That is
what we are trying to do too. Raymond Bickson CEO

Product
Premium luxury
hotels

Price
Premium

Promotion
Word of mouth,
experiential

Place
Hotels, resorts,
palaces, wildlife
lodges,
restaurants

Domestic &
Premium luxury international,
Hotels, resorts, premium
palaces, wildlife luxury,
business &
lodges, restaurants
leisure
traveller who
seeks
modernity
with tradition
Segmentation

Targeting

P
Finest Indian
hospitality,
unique
customer
experiences,
Tajness

Positioning

Brand
Brand equity,
equity,
luxury,
luxury, splendour
splendour
warmth
warmth &
&
hospitality

Differentiation

Lake Palace, Udaipur

Functional

Finest
hospital
ity &
service

Economic

Emotional

Premiu
m,
exclusiv
e

Unique
customer
experien
ces and
lifelong
memorie
s

Caring,
enigmatic
woman who
stands for
great
hospitality &
eficiency

Suites

Position
Identit
y
Taj
Mumbai,
Indias
finest
hotels

Finest
Indian
hospitalit
y, unique
customer
experien
ces,
Tajness

Image
(Perceptio
n)

Customers Mind

Premium
luxury
hotels

Title
Add your text

POP
5 Star Hotels
Luxury stay
Premium price
Speciality cuisine

POD
Taj Brand Equity
Hospitality &
service
Customer
experience

Maldive
s

Extremely
high
quality:
Finest
service &
hospitality,
Tajness
Luxury
product:
premium,
exception
al
service,
high
value

Resonance

Judgements
Feelings

Performance

Imagery

Salience
High awareness: Most easily recalled
luxury hotel brand in India

Ultimate social
status: Loyals &
high repeats.
Affiliation &
attachment. Elite
Society
Exclusive & self
rewarding:
Feeling of
success, social
status, social
approval & self
Classic &
respect
Achievemen
t image:
Elite, old
world luxury
image, status
symbol,

Relationship
(Brand to customer)Attachment, finest

Reflection (Customer
identifies wrt brand)Successful, elite, arrived

Personality (Soul)Tajness- Elegance,


hospitality &
eficiency

Culture (Brand in
customers
conscience)
Indian, unique
experiences

Internalisation

Externalisation

Physique
(Purpose)Premium luxury
hotels

Self-Image (Customer
identifies brand wrt self)
Status, classic heritage

Restaura
nts

Pa
la
ce
s,

ic
on
ic

ho
te

ls

Extended

Global

Core
Brand Essence

Tr
ad
it

ion
al
ye
t

Heritage

St
er

lin
g

Hospitality
se
rvi

ce

Warm, caring &


hospitable

Luxury
tic
o
Ex

mo
de
rn

Suites

By reopening the Heritage Wing, and doing whatever it takes to get


back its old glory, we have sent a stronger message a message
that strongly resonates among all of us that we can be hurt, but
we cannot be knocked down Ratan Tata, 12th August, 2010

http://www.tajhotels.com
Hindu Businessline 28July2009
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2010/07/29/stories/201
0072952030900.htm
Taj Grand Plans to be Indias best 19Aug2010
http://business.redif.com/slide-show/2010/aug/19/slide-show1-taj-hotel-plans-to-be-indias-best.htm
Business Standard 13August, 2010
La Carte- Major hotel chains enhancing brand
diferentiation
http://www.businessworld.in/bw/storyContent/2010_07_24__L
a_Carte.html
INDIA HOTEL Review Q4 2008, Knight Frank
September 2005 | Cynthia Rodrigues , In the lap of luxury
www.tata.com
http://www.brandchannel.com/features_profile.asp?pr_id=355