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a) Cape & Kantary is one of the leading Hotels in Thailand, and they have taken a huge step by removing Shark fin from their Menu. Apart from this, the Company also removed other environmentally crucial items from the menu. The Company has adopted a commitment to uphold the safety of animals and prevention of cruelty to animals. These activities will have quite an impact on the marketing environment of the company. Thus, the micro-environmental factors are the forces that are often inherent to the Company or are very intimately related to its bearings. Hence, these actors have significance in the business of Cape & Kantary, and they must be identified and the changes must be assessed (Bartels, Giao & Ohlenburg, 2006).
The distributors and marketing intermediaries are resellers, financial services, or online operators who distribute the product and it is also essential to monitor what price they are offering and they must be controlled.
b) The macro-environmental forces are the larger forces of a Company's external environment that are not directly related to the Company but are quite potent in having an impact on the business. These forces cannot be tamed and controlled and the Company must be able to adapt itself according to the changes and the forces (Grant, 2012).
Socio-Cultural- It is the forces of the society and the culture that is prevalent in the location where the Company is located. Cape & Kantary is located in Thailand, and the socio-cultural condition of the place would directly affect how the business of the hotel is running. The country is a great tourist destination and, therefore, the Hotel business is significantly dependent on the forces. The philosophy of the Company would be highly appreciated by the global clientele who are environmentally conscious. Another significant trend in the cultural segment is the young generation rejecting the previous hypocrisy and moving into a more global attitude of lifestyle (Lingham-Soliar, 2004).
Natural- The Natural forces are the environmental and health conditions that are prevalent in the country, and it has a serious effect on the business. The disruptiveness of natural orders, the scenic beauty or unhealthy and unhygienic condition is seen in very negative light and has much impact on the hotel business as Tourism is directly affected (Nijman, 2015). The depletion of shark and underwater and other exotic animals along with butchering sights of the fish catchers has affected the tourism industry and hotel business. Another trend is the high health consciousness, and the general idea in the mind of the people that shark fins have high mercury content and would harm human life is held significant. The activism and the depletion of natural resources would be very negative for Cape & Kantary's Hotel business (Brierley, 2007).
Economic- The economic condition of a country have a major effect on the businesses as it determines the financial potentialities, employee calibre and resources. The Hotel industry is much dependent on the economic condition of the country as it will determine the market share and sales success of the Company. The economy of Thailand is more than 3.5 %, and it is perceived that the fishing is one of the major industries. It is the third-largest seafood exporter and the fish export accounts for US$ 3billion. It employs more than 300,000 people. Thus, the cost of shark fins is reasonably high. A commitment to not to provide Shark fins and endangered animals may reasonably affect the supplier relationships of the company as the trends cited in the fishing industry is high. On the other hand, Tourism makes about 8.55 of the GDP and Bangkok has seen a recent tourist boost. The Company's philosophy would attract tourists for the sustainable approach and hence would be beneficial (Worldbank.org, 2015).
Cape & Kantary is a major Hotel business whose restaurant forms a huge part of the business that they do. Since, Thailand is the tourist hub, the competitive advantage is an essential factor to sustain the business and achieve the marketing goals. Michael Porter's three generic strategies offer the best options to gain competitive ground and achieve goals. They are called generic as they can be applied to any products or services. The three major strategies are Overall Cost Leadership, Differentiation and Focus (De Kluyver & Pearce, 2009).
Cost Leadership- It is the process of reducing cost and increasing the profit. If a company lowers its cost of operation, then it can charge a lower price or average market price for the products. It would gain increasing market share and would lead to profit. The Company can apply this by engaging efficient logistics, and investing in technologies and acquiring low cost labour. It would provide a competitive ground as Cape & Kantary would be able to provide greater value to customers for comparative or lower prices, thus making it more affordable. The reduction of costly animal delicacies from the menu would offer a significant cost leadership ground (Parker, 2006).
Differentiation- It involves in adding a unique feature or providing some better quality arrangements that will make the customers choose the company over other options. This attribute must be attractive and beneficial. The company's strategy of not using endangered animals is also a differentiation process that separates the restaurants from its competitors. The company should also offer a healthy cuisine to the customers and engage in effective sales and marketing activity to provide the customers with value.
Focus- It is the process of concentrating on a particular niche market and understanding the dynamics of it. It needs a specific and thorough study of the customer needs and the trends of the market. Focus tends to build a strong brand loyalty. The Focus can also be on the cost requirement or the differentiation requirement of the market. For Cape & Kantary, the Focus should be on Differentiation focus. It is a large and well-established restaurant that needs cannot lower its price but can always reduce its operation cost to a bit. Reducing cost would affect the company standard and the thus differentiating itself from the rest of the restaurants on better food quality and service as well as on moral high grounds would fetch the tourism a local customers alike. Thus providing a strong competitive ground and increasing market share (Warner, 2010).
Thus, the three strategies would be very much effective in helping the Company achieve its financial as well as reputational goals (Eldring, 2009).
a) The Cape & Kantary restaurants have deliberately removed Shark's Fin soups from their menu list and as a result they have witnessed a declining number of corporate and wedding banquet sales (Zuwallack, 2009). This problem could be because Shark's fin soup is considered one of the finest delicacies of the region and is very costly. It was the food of the emperors, and people associate it as a symbol of status. The corporate and wedding banquets had Shark's fin as a predominant item of the menu and thus removing it has lowered the standard of the menu according to many people. On the other hand, it could be a complete miscommunication that has lead to the decline in the sales. Thus, the issue requires through research and analysis and new strategies that will provide the proper solution (Harrell & Bradley, 2009).
b) The above issue must be researched and analysed dor in-depth study of the factors and issues related to it. Thus, there is a need for primary data collection for getting a wide detail and scope on the subject. The research approaches that could be utilised are the collection of information through conducting of surveys. Surveys could be conducted among the customers and tourists of Thailand's on the restaurants businesses. Also, interviewing the employees and suppliers of the restaurants would provide insight into the market (Best & Krueger, 2004).
Another research approach or data collection method could be studied of the market trends through journals and industry reports and surfing the online data sources for information. The data, information on the natural condition of the country and the facts and figures gathered from reports or journals are studied and provide value guidelines on understanding the issue and its solutions (Cyr, 2015).
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