Amber Inn & Suites is a hotel chain that operates western as well as Rocky Mountain states. In 2005, this organization operated 250 sites (Kerin, 335). The services of this company are intended mostly for business travelers who value reasonable prices and comfortable accommodations. The composite marketing challenge is the inability to make a unique selling proposition to a variety of customers, especially tourists and people who are on a business trip.
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It is also important to remember about organizational challenge of this company. As it has been shown in the case study, the planning in this organization was done in a top-down way which means that key decisions were made only by senior executives without involving people who occupied a lower place in the organizational hierarchy (Kerin, 331). As a result, the company became less responsive to the changes in customers’ demands and new strategies adopted by their competitors.
Organizational and marketing challenges contributed to several financial problems. It should be noted that within the period between 2003 and 2005, Amber Inn could not break even. In particular, they posted net losses during three consecutive years. Furthermore, within this period the company increased its corporate expenses which increased by $ 5,9 million (Kerin, 338). Hence, one can speak about inefficient budgeting and planning.
There are several opportunities that the company missed at that point. In particular, they failed to attract tourists who travelled through the Rocky Mountains states. Many of these people came with their families and they could be interested in the services of Amber Inn, if they knew more about the amenities that the company could offer them, for instance, indoor and outdoor saunas (Kerin, 336).
As it has been said, before the company was oriented toward the needs of business travelers. Yet, they did not provide the amenities such people might need. For instance, Amber Inn properties did not include conference rooms that could be of great use to such guests. Thus, they did not meet the needs of the major clients.
Furthermore, one also has to remember about various competitive challenges. The thing is that Amber Inn is positioned between full-service luxury hotels and economy hotels (Kerin, 336). These organizations lay stress either on their prices or the quality of their services. Overall, such strategies can succeed because they target a specific segment of the population. Thus, the management of Amber Inn must find a way of distinguishing their company among other hotel chains.
Overall, there is a need for the company to make a unique selling proposition (USP) to its customers. The USP that is made to business travelers should emphasize reasonable price, efficient services, and well-chosen locations of Amber Inn sites. Additionally, they also need mention such amenities that may be of great use to business travelers, for example, dataport telephones (Kerin, 335). Secondly, the USP to tourists should also stress pricing because people, who travel with families, are usually more price-sensitive.
The most important challenge that has to be overcome is related to organizational structure of a company. It is mostly hierarchical which means that new ideas and strategies are implemented slowly if their come from frontline managers. The main opportunity is that the company’s sites are well-positioned from geographical point of view.
For instance, they are located near airports, office complexes, shopping centers, and so forth (Kerin, 336). Thus, the management should remember about these threats and opportunities while developing new strategies.
Kerin, Roger. “Amber Inn & Suites, Inc.” In Strategic Marketing Problems: Cases and omments. Ed. Roger Kerin and Robert Peterson. New York: Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.