According to Treacy and Wiersema (1996) the product leadership, the operational excellence and the customer intimacy are the three strategies which ultimately show why customers decide to be loyal to a certain brand over another.
As Peelen & Beltman (2013) mention in the Customer Relationship Management book, the product leadership strategy is used by organisations which work hard to implement new products as they want to amaze their customers with their newest and best products. The new ideas or services are developed very quickly and they are already introduced to the market. According to Sorescu et all (2011) “such innovations [in the hotel industry] have increased operational efficiency as well as they created more value for customers”.
Although this strategy seems to be risky as one cannot know how exactly the customers will react, these types of organisations need to manage a portfolio of new ideas which ultimately makes them able to foresee obstacles. Also, as mentioned in the book, mistakes are part of the process and are permissible.
The role of the product leaders is to build a mutually beneficial relationship and always customise the way the organisations interact with their customers. Moreover, even the most innovative organisations on the market need to listen to the needs and the wants of their target group, as their aim is to ultimately please their customers. As an example, the product leaders might take into the account to co-create products by asking customers’ opinions; this is the case of the Klaus K Hotel. The boutique hotel located in Helsinki used many co-creative forms in order to redesign their lobby. They called out on all their clients and challenged them to come up with the best design idea. What was very important was the fact that all the entries were accepted – from drawings on cocktail napkins to 3D sketches. In this way, the hotel not only publicly marketed their soon-to-be lobby but also tried to get in touch with the customer and hear the public’s opinion (Co-Creating the Hospitality Experience, 2015).
Another hotel which tried this strategy and was successful is Marriott. Overnight, they allowed their 87 million members of the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programmes to book rooms and transfer their points. By doing so, Marriott created the best loyalty programme on the market. The hotel chain understood how important is the relationship with their customer. That is why they provide exclusive room rates and even the ability to use points in order to pay for extra activities such as wine tastings or museum tours (Why Marriott Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017, 2017).
To sum up, the product leadership strategy is risky and a company should take everything into consideration before applying it. However, successful examples were previously discussed in this post which only makes one think that once the strategy has been thoroughly analysed and all the disadvantages are taken into consideration, only then the organisations will master it.
Co-Creating the Hospitality Experience. (2015). Retrieved September 13, 2017, from The CoCreators: http://www.thecocreators.com/co-creating-the-hospitality-experience/
Treacy, M. and Wiersema, F. (1996) The Discipline of Market Leaders, New York: HarperCollins
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer relationship management. Harlow: Pearson Education
Prakash K. Chathoth, Gerardo R. Ungson, Robert J. Harrington, Eric S.W. Chan, (2016) “Cocreation and higher order customer engagement in hospitality and tourism services: A critical review”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 28 Issue: 2, pp.222-245, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-10-2014-0526
Sorescu, A., Frambach, R.T., Singh, J., Rangaswamy, A. and Bridges, C. (2011), “Innovations in retail business models”, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 87, pp. S3-S16.
Why Marriott Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017. (2017, March 08). Retrieved September 13, 2017, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3067493/why-marriott-is-one-of-the-most-innovative-companies-of-2017