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the
manager
AUTUMN 2011
— COMPETITIVE EDGE —
THE BUSINESS
STAYING
POWER
It's one thing making it to the top, but quite another to
stay there.
Te Manager
talks to leading businesses to
fnd out how they stay ahead of the competition
WORDS
ALICE HOEY
WHY IS IT THAT
some brands remain
so high profle, year after year, while
others come and go? Some of the
most familiar faces on the British high
street have disappeared in recent years,
while even online retailers and social
networking sites have struggled to hold
onto once-loyal customers.
While, for some, the recession may
have dealt the fatal blow, it can't be
held entirely responsible. It doesn't
matter how strong your brand or how
high quality your goods, maintaining a
competitive edge when all around you
is changing is no mean feat. Fail
to keep up and your products and
services can go from being 'must-haves'
to 'has-beens' alarmingly quickly.
Te fnancial crisis and ensuing
recession has taught a stark lesson
to businesses in all sectors – to stay
ahead, you have to stay on your toes.
But if change is essential to continued
success, what should drive it? Should
businesses keep one eye on the
competition for inspiration or is there
some truth in the old saying 'if it
ain't broke, don't fx it'?
Forte Village Resort in Sardinia has
“Is there
some truth
in the old
saying
'if it ain't
broke, don't
fx it'?”
been voted the world's leading resort
by top international travel agents
for the past 13 years – an enviable
achievement, especially considering
that hospitality is such a highly
competitive and saturated market.
Managing director Lorenzo
Giannuzzi (right) puts the consistent
success of his business down to the
unique nature of its ofering. “Forte
Village provides the kind of frst class
and hugely personalised service that
you would normally expect from only
the most exclusive boutique hotels,” he
says. “But we also ofer the variety of
activities and class of facilities that only
a hotel with a substantial critical mass
of clients such as Forte Village can
aford to ofer to its guests.”
Tere are two main elements to
the Forte Village strategy for
maintaining standards and staying
ahead of the game. “We continuously
invest and upgrade, both to improve
our infrastructure and facilities and
to train our staf,” says Giannuzzi.
“Secondly, we aim to always be
innovative. Our motto is 'surprise and
delight'... and we do that by always
ofering our guests something above
and beyond what they can get from the
competition. Tat applies to the choice
of activities, services and facilities we
ofer, as well as the high standard of
service that guests receive.”
But what shapes what Giannuzzi
invests in and how he develops the
business? “We closely monitor what
our competitors are doing,” he says.
“We also keep a close eye on the
economy as a whole and on individual
markets, especially in the countries
where we promote our resort most
actively. Ten we adapt our strategy
according to the changing