What can businesses learn from the latest results posted by Whitbread?
19th October 2010
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What can businesses learn from the latest results posted by Whitbread?

Today the Whitbread Group reported that profits had jumped by 43% to £151m in the six months to September.

Notably this profit growth was helped by the fast-expansion of its hotels business, Premier Inns and its Costa Coffee business, which Whitbread says is now the second biggest coffee chain in the world. With expansion plans underway for both of these brands over the coming year, what is it that any business can learn from this successful organisation, where budget hotels and luxury coffee have spear headed their growth?

Quite simply, know your customer.

The success of these brands hasn’t happened by accident; they’ve been researched, measured and evaluated. As someone who used to do just this on behalf of Whitbread, I know that they invest time and effort in getting to know what it is their customers want and expect.

In an economic climate when customers are choosing products and services wisely, it’s all about value and the customer experience and Whitbread have invested time in understanding how this should be delivered, via these two brands.

No matter what size, this is something any business can and should do, but often doesn’t, using time and cost as a convenient excuse. At the very least a few conversations or a simple feedback process can provide any business with valuable insight as to whether they are on track, or indeed meeting the needs of their customer base both now and in the future.

On face value these two Whitbread brand propositions may be poles apart, but the one thing they both do is meet the demand of their prevailing market. Both are consistent in their offer: with Premier Inns delivering a functional but quality hotel service particularly for the business traveller, whilst Costa Coffee offers an affordable luxury in a comfortable venue. You only have to visit one of our local Costa’s here in Newbury to see just how much they are favoured by shoppers, groups of parents and local business people as the place to meet.

So, it all power to Whitbread that they have done their homework and have recovered from being a business of faded and old fashioned brands to being one of the market leaders.

Now, this can’t all be due to obvious charms and talent of their advertising front man Lenny Henry – can it ?!

About the Author

Dawn R

Member since: 9th July 2012

Working in the world of marketing and communications, I have a real passion for helping people and businesses become the best that they can be. And whilst working hard is of course important – I believe...

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