Taj Mahal Palace: Marketing Strategies
- To know about the Marketing strategies used by The Taj Mahal Palace.
- To know about the insights used by The Taj Mahal Palace.
- To understand how they read their customer’s minds thereby providing and fulfilling their needs.
- Understanding the seven Ps of Marketing concerning Taj and its in-depth analysis.
“There will always, one can assume, be a need for some selling, but Marketing aims to make selling superfluous.” -Peter Drucker
The best that comes to my mind after reading this is, ‘The Taj Mahal Palace. “They know, they understand the customer that the product or service fits it so well and it sells itself” exactly how, Drucker says. Let us rewind it to the Jamshedji Tata’s commission for Saracenic revival style built on the lap of the Arabian Sea in 1903, known as,’ The Taj’ meaning, ‘The Crown’ inspired by The Taj Mahal Palace, located in Agra.
Considering The Taj Mahal Palace, does it need Marketing?
Just like the word explains, ‘The Taj’ allows one to witness its luxurious and rich services of meals, fests, stays, and relaxation, in a way that one deserves after wearing the crown. The Taj Mahal Palace is known for its magnificent services and for its perfect meld with its authenticity, technology, eminence, and its people. The people of The Taj Mahal Palace, their training, their framed minds, their abilities to influence their guests right since they enter The Taj Mahal Palace till they carry their overwhelmed hearts of astounding memories and services, people, that is also a ‘P’ of Marketing, plays an extremely important role.
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The Taj Mahal Palace is the first in India to have Electricity, American fans, German elevators, Turkish Baths, and English butlers which eventually happened and were strategized to give the Taj experience to its customers. They also had Mumbai’s first licensed bar, India’s first (all day) restaurant, night club, air-conditioned ballroom, the first Japanese Wasabi by Morimoto, Sichuan restaurant golden dragon, and whatnot! All this contributed to making The Taj Mahal Palace unique, flourished with luxury, and flamboyant facilities, which are enough to charge the luxury amount that one finds worthy, and that’s how it is quoted! Back in 1903 when The Taj Mahal Palace opened its gates for 17 guests, even before the foundation of the gateway (1911), the stay charged is said to be Rs 10. (Khetan Media Creation Pvt Ltd.) Its price has increased to an incredible extent and varies based on different aspects. The pricing targets business and leisure travelers and customers across the World. The Taj Mahal Palace is a premium chain that offers a blend of high-end products, services, and hospitality. One of the uniqueness apart from the legendary hospitality of the hotel is that every suite in the Taj Mahal Palace tells a story. Themed Suites are inspired by different themes right from charming chemistry and romance to the splendor of Rajputana, from the tatas to the heritage of the Indian culture, right from the tiles, crockery that one sees when one enters to every inch that the customer gazes at accords in creating the product and product mix of The Taj Mahal Palace that pitch in.
For more information visit: https://www.slideshare.net/rjamarchawla/Taj-hotel-17918313
Moment, the installations, and the luxury are adapted by several services in the Hotel Industry which might be as good as The Taj, but still, it does not give us the right to compare the Taj Mahal Palace with any. What is that which makes, Taj, The Taj? Does Marketing strategies play an important role? One of the biggest factors creating the essence of it is, as said earlier, People. Everything, right from the Architecture to the Tables can be duplicated, but, people, cannot. The People in The Taj Mahal Palace, the people’s service, the chefs, the security, and the staff, is trained in such a way that contributes the most in creating Taj’s USP moment. The Marketing strategies today, need not necessarily have the first experience or unique technology, but the image it has created in the people’s minds is what contributes the most, and hence to keep it up to the mark, the on-chalk conduct of the people of The Taj Mahal Palace is what we would like to learn and analyse.
Its location, right in front of the Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea gives its guests a view, that a very handful of hotels in Mumbai can offer. Not only the view, but the wordiness of experiencing The Taj Mahal Palace is what makes people fascinated about it. Jamshedji Tata’s decision to the foundation of Taj, in 1898, is one of the wisest and bravest decisions that every marketer would definitely like to study. One of the reasons behind The Taj Mahal Palace radiating nationalism and the Indian Culture is the in-air story about Jamshedji Tata, who was formerly not allowed in a British restaurant in India (Watson Hotel), being an Indian, and that led to the actions of The Taj foundation. This also defines the Place and Process of the Marketing mix of The Taj Mahal Palace. The Vision and Mission of the Taj consist of best-in-class, technology-driven, creative, Indian culture-based, innovative, luxury service that consistently delivers high-value service offerings leading to strong brand equity.
Coming to the Media and promotions, Taj and its luxury had been covered in several books and magazines, which are not only based on but also inspired by The Taj Experience. The writeups in The Romance of Travel, Night in Bombay, the portrayed dream destination in Marathi movies example, Tranche bait, the movies, Taj mahal, Hotel Mumbai, the location and ambiance used in movies like Tenet, Around the World in 80 Days all contribute in making Taj reach to the people across the world and strengthen the image of the dream Hotel. It was chosen as the 27, ‘great brands of Tomorrow’ by the credit research institute. Taj launched, ‘The Taj at Apollo Bunder’, an epic book depicting the inspiring history of the brand.
The CSR: During the first World War (1914-1918), The hotel was converted into a 600-bed hospital. This act has captured a soft spot in people’s minds of not only the 600-bed patients but, also their families and the whole world. Winning people’s trust and choosing them over profits like a king, is what we would like to draw from this act of Taj.
After the 26/11 attacks, Ratan tata ensured The Taj’s rebirth with the same glory and splendor it has radiated for over 100 years. As a part of the restoration project, the iron pillars of the grand ballrooms got a golden touch, luxury suites were completely revamped and hence the luxury of The Taj Mahal Palace climbed Everest to heights that no one has seen. To avoid such attacks, the modern Security system was adapted that makes it safe today. After the reopening, to regain people’s faith, a visit of former President of the USA, Barack Obama is noted.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in The Taj Mahal Palace is quite unlike the other hotels. Customer Loyalty Programs are used to appreciate the loyalty of repeat guests. Taj Inner Circle, Points redemption, and Taj Club contributes to all of this. Guests also earn points for when they stay, shop to shop, or have a meal. They earn 1 point for every 100rs they spend. Each point is worth Rs10 and is redeemable. Considering this, we would like to analyze this based on youth marketing and target audience. Even though the Taj customers or existing Taj customers might not be concerned about the points due to their financial capabilities, considering customer expansion, the youths can be drawn to such schemes and vouchers. The youth is drawn towards The Taj Experience and are fascinated about the same and to retain that, the points are helping a better consideration.
A guest preference sheet is maintained primarily to know customer preferences to make them feel comfortable and homely during their stay. Complaints are updated on software to improve the service. PMS (Property Management systems) is used to save the guest’s information that also helps to track their guests and to maintain GRE (Guests Relations Management). Taj uses Fidelio, which is a property management system that is also used by several Indian Hotel Company Limited. It is used for saving special information of the guests like their anniversaries, birthdays, allergies, family member’s information, etc, which helps the hotel to connect with them on special occasions and also can help to care of the guests properly and delight them by personalized service every time they visit. All this information is accessible to all as it is uploaded on the PMS and hence right from the butlers to the hotel staff everyone can access it. A small booklet named Wow Card is carried by the staff at all times and whenever they get any information about their guests. All this is done to maintain customer retention, which is an act of renewing your existing customers so they continue to be our customers and consider Taj for luxury service or related services. The first step of retention is acquiring good-fit customers which taj already has due to its brand image and then comes customer support, customer success, and customer experience, which contribute to a customer’s livelihood to renew.
Its Brand Image, Business philosophy, Amenities, Service differentiation, Multiple hotel Segments, and targeted customers make Taj stand strong against its weaknesses like its high maintenance cost, management across its segments, its research cost which can help them to explore new opportunities to compete with its threats and competitors like Oberoi, trident, Radisson, Wyndham Worldwide and intercontinental Hotels.
The Taj Mahal Palace Today:
The Taj Mahal Palace is not only famous for its existence in India but also worldwide. It has eight hotels namely in the United Kingdom, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Oman, and Dubai. The Taj group of hotels plans to expand its chain of hotels internationally by adopting an asset-light strategy which would see it running hotels on long-term management contracts. It involves a business model transferring capabilities, such as people, process, and technology, to better owners to enable companies to transition fixed costs to a variable cost structure, enhance agility and also facilitate a shift of resources that allows a focus on core capabilities.
The Taj Mahal Palace won the title of the strongest hotel brand in 2022 for the second consecutive year, from the leading brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance. It rates the world’s highly valuable and robust hotel brands based on key factors like Marketing, investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. As the reports of the renowned hospitality firm, Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), The Taj has topped the list of the strongest brands across the globe. Not only that but Taj has also been rated for many achievements, including deploying successful strategies to survive the pandemic.
“We are very proud that Taj has been recognized as the World’s Strongest Hotel Brand for the second time in a Row” – Puneet Chatwal (Managing Director and CEO, IHCL)
Taj has been the glory and the power of India for enormous reasons glorifying Indian Culture and Patriotism. People across the globe get to experience Indian Culture with its mind-blowing hospitality and uniqueness that cannot be molded in words. The Taj Hotel Experience can be encountered by making online bookings on different websites or calling. A meal, stay, meeting, event, etc are available to be performed or experienced in Taj. The Taj Hotel’s (Mumbai) rates are different from the Taj Tower’s (Mumbai) rates and the hotels are higher than the Towers. The rates vary based on the suit selected, view, etc.
Ratan Tata’s faith in his words and action and his faith in Tai is why it is still golden with wings. The loss of people’s lives and the financial losses due to the 2008 attack are those dark spots of the clean slate that can never be erased, but, standing strong and believing in the actions and making people believe is an attribute that we appreciate and would consider.
When analyzed right from 1903 till date, the marketing mix can be meticulously applied and studied considering Taj’s history, challenges, successes, branding, features, and every part of it as its Product, price, place, promotion, process, physical evidence, and People.
What makes The Taj Mahal Palace different than any other hotel in Mumbai is its more than 100 years of legacy, image, celebrity status, iconic colonial structure, strategic location, and Indian culture-centric service orientation. It definitely cannot be moulded and expressed in specific words and hence the analysis of The Taj Mahal palace is what will help us to come closer to a better understanding of its USP, Marketing, and Brand as a whole.