Strategic Management in Any Competitive Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

These cruises can easily also appeal to families with pre-school children or young people who have left school and want to take a break before entering colleges, universities, or the workplace.

Some barriers to including these sectors in the cruise market are the perception that cruise holidays are generally not for children, that they are unaffordable, and that they are boring. In marketing, these attitudes towards cruises should be combated.

Cayamo's Current and Future Market Position

According to Henderson's (2008) case study, this is precisely what Cayamo has done. It has uniquely positioned itself by recognizing the importance of popular music and songs to a large sector of the cruise market. The author mentions Barbara Streisand, K.D. Lang, and Lynyrd Skynyrd to demonstrate the importance of popular music as a marketing tool. In this, the company has found a unique marketing position by combining the traditional purpose of a cruise, to travel and see the world, with the entertainment of listening to music and socialising with songwriters. Other providers in the music market offer music festivals on board, which eliminates the problem of rain that so often ruins the music festival on land. In addition to music, these cruises also offer restaurants, bars, and casinos to contribute to the atmosphere of fun and partying.

In the light of this, Cayamo's focus was songwriters in the country music genre (Henderson, 2008, p.551). The opportunity to meet their music heroes, along with being entertained by their music, attracted many cruisers. Both artists and cruisers enjoyed the experience very much, and signed up for the next cruise immediately after disembarking.

While the country angle is indeed uniquely positioned towards a certain niche market, Cayamo could also consider this success in expanding is focus. Songwriters from other genres can for example be invited to appeal to different, untapped markets. The country market might for example appeal to a slightly older market. However, the young market is still largely untapped by the company.

For its music and song writing focus, it is therefore suggested that Cayamo maintain its country cruises and continue to capitalise on its success. Word of mouth by customers will also encourage future participants in these cruises.

In addition, Cayamo can also expand its focus to include other music genres. This does not need to only include the popular music genre for younger people, but could even include music events for preschool children. These events can be accompanied by events and entertainment specifically focused towards the parents of these young children. An example could be to appoint nursery personnel to entertain children, while parents are allowed to take part in some of the other events on the vessel.

For the longer-term future, Cayamo could also consider additional specialised cruises for the entertainment of specific sectors of society. Young people, for example, could be attracted by events that focus on film and the entertainment industry. Cayamo could even use the services of young celebrities to provide information and entertainment for young people. One-day cruises for birthday parties or weddings could also form part of this niche.

Henderson (2008, p. 555) cites Mintel research to suggest that specialty cruises are increasingly popular among various sectors of society. For the longer term, Cayamo can solicit ideas from the public in the form of competitions to brainstorm future possibilities for specialty cruises. Such competitions will serve the dual function of communication, not only with participants in previous cruises, but also with potential future customers. It is an important communication tool to provide the public with accurate information regarding the cruises Cayamo offers, and also the possibility to have fun either on long-haul or short-haul cruises.

Another important strategy in this regard is the formation of partnerships. Service providers can be enlisted to provide focused materials on a regular basis, for example. These partnerships will furthermore promote the companies among various entertainment and other service sectors and attract further professionals to the niche markets provided.

In short, it is suggested that Cayamo firstly promote its country genre thoroughly, while also expanding to other music genres to appeal to a wider market. When these are thoroughly developed, it is suggested that the company expand to other areas of specialty appeal. The first step towards accomplishing this is to research other cruise markets and determine what is already offered. Cayamo can then use two approaches to create its own themes.

One of these approaches is to find a unique variation on an already existing theme, or to create a theme that does not yet exist. In both these approaches, it is important to keep in mind that there are both traditional and untapped markets for the cruise industry. While cruises traditionally appeal to older people, many from this demographic do not repeat the cruise experience when they are alone. This can be remedied by offering a theme for single people in the older age group.

For younger people, birthday and graduation parties during a one-day cruise with a celebrity DJ might appeal strongly. The possibilities of themes are virtually endless. If Cayamo continues its success with the songwriter cruise, other artistic themes can also follow, such as the visual arts, theatre arts, poetry, and the like. All these themes appeal to a variety of age groups and demographic sectors.

Cayamo's current position is sufficiently strong to give rise to further related variations of this position. The growth of the cruise industry is also conducive to its entry into other themes, as demand is particularly strong. Cayamo should therefore make full and energetic use of this opportunity. Even in a growing industry, business people can hardly afford to rest from marketing their services and products. It is vitally important that Cayamo uses its current strategic position to gain further advantage in this growing market.

Competitor Entry

As mentioned above, the cruise industry is growing at a significant rate, which makes it highly conducive to entry by new competitors. In addition to new cruise companies providing services to the public, there is also a continually increasing focus on specialty products and services, such as the one offered by Cayamo. The market has, however, not been dominated by any single theme or company. Hence, the conditions for new entry are favourable. Indeed, it appears that many cruise companies are well-positioned to enter the music niche, should they choose to do so. It is important for Cayamo to keep this in mind when creating its strategy for the future.

One such potential entrant is Carnival Cruises (Novak, 2011). The strengths of this company is its size. It is one of the largest cruise operators in the world and operates 11 cruise brand names. Its niche markets include several different sectors, including the budget traveller and those requiring luxury cruises. Because of its size, its cost advantages over its competitors is also significant. Its average net income is almost three times that of the industry standard.

Should it choose to enter the music market, the company would use aggressive and effective tactics to invest in media messages for their promotions. These would target the lifestyles of the groups the company is aiming to reach. It is a well-known brand with 47% of the market share in the UK. Carnival's main weakness is its over-dependence upon the U.S. market. This makes it vulnerable to changes in the U.S. economy. However, this vulnerability is unlikely to influence a decision to enter the music market, should the company decide to do so. Indeed, its overall strength and size are most likely sufficient to handle any American economic fluctuations without having to terminate new ventures.

Another strong competitor in the cruise market is the World of ResidenSea (Fielding, 2009). This vessel provides a quite unique niche service, in that it provides a type of residence for long-term passengers. The main strength of the company is its unique edge within the market. It also caters to a very select clientele, and is unlikely to appeal to a mass market. Because its appeal is so exclusive, it is unlikely to be a competitor in the niche currently served by Cayamo. Its competitive edge is that it provides round the globe travel to a very exclusive, prosperous market. What Cayamo can learn from ResidenSea is its unique edge. No other ship offers its specific level of service. Hence, this unique edge is the main source of its revenue.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. also operates on a worldwide scale, with 35 ships and about 71,200 berths. It serves 380 locations globally, and provides pre- and post-cruise hotel packages. This company's edge is provided by its service that includes escorted premium land packages together with its cruise vacations. It also includes five cruise brands catering to all levels of luxury and income segments.

This company's focus remains primarily upon making the travel experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible, rather than upon specifically-themed cruises. However, should it make the decision to enter the music market,…

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