Competitiveness in the predominant market necessitates for better marketing strategies. The Hard Rock Cafe (HRC) and Al Nasser Company employ various strategies that enable them to remain competitive in the predominant as well as new markets. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the marketing strategies of these companies with regards to the changing market.
HRC is one of the world largest and leading restaurant brands that provides a unique dining experience coupled with a visual and sound experience of rock music. HRC, established in 1971 in London, has since expanded to 41 new countries, having 114 cafes in different cities including S. Francisco, Beijing, Beirut, Barcelona, and Lisbon.
Hard Rock Cafe employs the experience economy strategy aimed at incorporating an extraordinary experience in its operations. As such, the company is not attempting to compete with other corporations in the market. On the contrary, it works at developing a diverse and unique experience in order to please its customers. The given strategy is proficient as it maintains competitiveness of the company in the predominant market. The fact that HRC sells meals and hotel rooms in a special way does not set them apart from other cafes. They provide a more unique experience to their customers by collecting the items of rock history that worth 40 million dollars (Haig 2004).
Nonetheless, HRC employs the franchising strategy, which allows other individuals to provide similar services all around the world using the HRC brand. Thus, it has enabled globalization of the HRC brand. Additionally, HRC customizes its services as an additional strategy. For instance, in the UK, people still fear eating beef as a result of the mad cow disease. Thus, HRC is producing fewer hamburgers in the UK region, replacing beef with fish and lobsters. In so doing, they have embraced product and service delivery differentiation attributed to the dissimilar markets. HRC stays relevant in the different markets, thus expanding their franchise. Undoubtedly, HRC offers diverse services in various cities that comprise San Francisco, Beijing, Beirut, Barcelona, and Lisbon.
The main strategy change has been globalization of the HRC brand from a local cafe in London to the worldwide brand. A large percentage of the HRC’s customers are tourists, which made HRC adapt the strategy of expanding its operations to the different cities all around the world. Thus, HRC has transformed from one London cafe to 114 cafes in 41 different countries. However, the disadvantage of this strategy is that it made HRC susceptible to the economy changes in the tourism industry. Hence, HRC expanded to other places that are not inevitably dependent on tourists. Another strategy change concerns company’s offering; it does not discontinue offering meals and products, but provides a whole experience coupled with hard rock music and rock and roll distinctive seal.
Strengths of HRC include its strong brand recognition. It is easy for HRC, as for a well-recognized brand worldwide, to market and realize augmented sales in the new markets. The cafe’s brand recognition has gone a long way in promoting its products and services. On the other hand, the cafe is very successful due to its unique experience. It offers a unique dinner accompanied with a video and audio of rock music. Additionally, the cafe focuses on customer loyalty. A good number of customers not only have their meals at the cafe, but also buy the HRC souvenirs.
Despite a huge success, HRC experiences some difficulties. Namely, there are a lot of restaurants in the predominant market; hence the company experiences exceptionally high competition. The restaurant industry has numerous franchises; thus, the market share is declining daily with the opening of the new restaurants. However, the cafe can advantage with the help of various opportunities, namely diversification of their offering and the ways of presentation of this offering. This means to provide an entirely different experience compared to its competitors. The biggest threat for HRC is a high competition from the restaurants like McDonalds and their cheaper prices compared to HRC.
Competitive advantage for HRC, therefore, lies in the product/service differentiation. HRC is achieving this by offering its customers benefits that other restaurants are not capable of. HRC realizes this by creating value for its products to its customers, therefore, creating customer loyalty that offers better competition from its competitors.
Al Nasser was the sole sports shop established in 1984, which served the market in Kuwait. Al Nasser, initially founded to provide sportswear, ended up being the leading retailer in sportswear to amateurs as well as to professionals. In such a way, the company ventured to have 60 stores in Kuwait and opened its branches in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iraq. The company has, however, expanded to the fashion brands including footwear and other accessories.
Al Nasser provides sports products, while HRC is in a restaurant business with meals as its significant selling product. Al Nasser operates majorly in the countries of the Middle East. On the other hand, HRC expands its products to 41 new countries and has strong brand recognition. Contrastingly, Al Nasser is only available in less than 10 countries though still expanding. It can be concluded that HRC serves a larger market as compared to Al Nasser. On the other hand, both companies face a stiff competition in their industries. HRC has to deal with McDonalds and Hooters, whereas Al Nasser has to deal with FUBU and Adidas among its competitors in order to stay dominant in the market.
As for HRC, franchising and expanding all over the world have led to appearing of 114 new cafes in different cities of 41 countries. The first cafe was opened in London. Additionally, differentiation in terms of service and products offered is unique in different cafes, making HRC relevant in different countries. Selling merchandise in the cafes increases sales and serves as another source of revenue for this restaurant chain. HRC has also invested in E-commerce, which assists in expanding the brand globally.