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Global marketing plan for Relais & Châteaux

Success story

Global marketing plan for Relais & Châteaux

Service Area: Advisory Services
Capabilitiess: Marketing plan, Brand management, Product development
Client: Relais & Châteaux
Location: Worldwide

The first stage of the project developed by THR consisted of defining the strategic plan for Relais Châteaux, the world's biggest luxury hotel association. The present success story focuses on the second stage of the project: the marketing plan.

Relais & ChateauxOnce the strategic plan was finished, Relais & Châteaux hired THR for a new challenge: a second phase which involved a large detailed marketing plan to answer the following question: how can Relais & Châteaux come closer to the market and transform its new business strategy into sales?

The mission of this project was to decide the bases of a marketing strategy which permitted the establisment of Relais & Châteaux's marketing budget for 2011/12 and subsequent years.

The 'Big Picture' methodology was used to set business and marketing goals and strategies.

The phases of this methodology include:

  • Selecting business objectives: profits or volume?
  • Selecting marketing objectives: clients acquisition or retention?
  • Selecting marketing strategies: stealing market share or stimulating new demand?
  • Establishing the most adequate tactics for each set strategy.

THR chose seven business sectors on which the company must focus, three main business models to successfully manage the group, and a way to reposition its brand in the market.

The 'Big Picture' model


El modelo big picture
Source: THR

The marketing plan concluded that Relais & Châteaux ought to focus on increasing its profits in order to be able to raise the marketing budget for the following years. In order to do that, a customer loyalty strategy should be adopted over the customer attracting strategy in place at the time.

It is crucial to retain current guests who do not book through Relais & Châteaux and to make them become 'fans' of the brand so that they choose to use its reservation centre.

Four key businesses were identified to meet the set objectives: reservation centre (including the 'inventory not used' sales programme), gift certificates, partnerships, and R&C tribe. Each of said products require their own determined marketing plan.

Furthermore, the Restaurants division, in spite of not generating financial profit, was also identified as a business in need of a marketing plan.

Relais & Châteaux also obtained a general marketing budget scheme different to the one used up till then. The need to create a training scheme for the organisation was identified and so was the need to increase the budget percentage set aside for product creation and sales. This all meant that a lower percentage of the budget went to communication and staffing.

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