Introduction:Background information of your organisation: In 2014 MerlinEntertainment (owners of Alton Towers) extended their park, adding the CBeebiesLand, a unique children’s theme park, providing rides and attractions but alsoeducational visits for children aged 3-6 years. A branded agreement with one ofthe UK’s most popular children’s TV channels owned by the BBC provides AltonTowers with a great competitive advantage within the leisure industry. Alton Towers have avery clear mission statement “Alton Towers Resort exists to make Britain happy!”(https://www.altontowers.com/useful-info/who-we-are/our-mission/) From research in 2010 there’s evidence thatit is a very busy attraction, dominating a large proportion of its industry andthis is before they introduced their new fantasy land in 2014: “Alton Towers isthe most visited theme park in the UK, with more than half of all adults havingbeen there.” (http://academic.
mintel.com/display/509063/?highlight#hit1) However, fromprevious research it can clearly be identified that there are numerous issueswithin the services of CBeebies Land which need to be developed into greaterknowledge in order to be resolved and continue to ensure that Alton Towers issucceeding in its mission statement objective. The report will outline resultsfrom the research, which will clearly identify the greatest problems withCBeebies Land’s services and conduct specific and achievable objectives tosupport the development of CBeebies Land success! Review of theorganisations micro and macro environmental factors: In order to identifyAlton Towers/CBeebies Land’s opportunities and threats within the industry amarketing audit using macro and micro analyses were done: Macro Environment – P.E.S.
T Political: The increase innational minimum wages could prove to be a threat to CBeebies Land and AltonTowers, as they will have to accommodate this into their expenses due to havingto potentially raise their employee wages. If there is an increase is workplace pensions then this will have a similar affect on CBeebies, both resultingin Alton Towers having to reconsider their prices of tickets, in order toensure their profit margin continues to stay at the same level following therises in expenses. However this couldalso be presented as a opportunity for Alton Towers, people will have moreincome resulting them in potentially spending more money on leisure productsand services, Alton Towers could take advantage of this and make new offers toincrease their footfall through the park, potentially increasing profits.
Environmental: From theuser-generated content, there are numerous requests by customers for a separatecar park and entrance for CBeebies Land; an environmental threat arisesfollowing this idea, which is the cost of developing in a rural area. AltonTowers is building on land, which is protected by several laws so the cost andarrangements of this could be proven as a larger cost to Alton Towers thanbenefit. Social: In 2015 the£18million ‘Smiler’ ride at the extreme thrill section of Alton Towers crashed,this left a few customers seriously injured and impacted the reputation ofAlton Towers greatly. (LINK ON REF LIST) Due tothis incident social threats have arose for CBeebies Land, the customerbehaviour of families visiting CBeebies Land will have been impacted, with theparents being more mindful of safety precautions and customers being afraid ofvisiting with the fear of another incident. Technological: There has been a increase in the number of people using UGC such as TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Facebook Page Reviews etc. Due to this customers whohave visited the attraction can share different content about their previousexperience.
This can prove to be a threat for CBeebies Land as negativecomments could defer future customers off, but reversibly positive, as goodfeedback will attract some people. From this it is important for Alton Towersto provide a great service, because this sharing platform can impact millionsof potential customers decisions. Micro Environment – Porters Five Forces CompletiveRivalry: Alton Towers has theexclusive rights to CBBC themed rides at their park; due to this there are nocompetitors, which offer CBBC themed attractions. However there are similarattractions available at competitor’s attractions such as Thomas Land atDrayton Manor, LegoLand, Gulliver’s Kingdom; these are great competitors, butthere is also smaller competitors such as the midlands Twin Lakes, which offerchildren’s rides and activities around their park. Threat of NewEntry: Theme parks, thrillrides and attractions are expensive to initially set up, due to this the threatof new entry is certainly lowered. This industry requires a large finance toset up and many health and safety regulations to follow and technology advancesrequired to build and maintain.
Due to Alton Towers successful past andownership by Merlin Entertainment they have the a large income to build newrides, develop their current parks etc giving them great advantage if a newcompetitor enters the market. A threat of newentry to the children’s attraction market could be a current competitordeveloping their park and gaining an agreement with a well-known children’s TVchannel, for example Disney or Nickelodeon. This would develop a great threatof substitution and competitive rivalry. Threat ofSubstitution: As stated incompetitive rivalry there is some competition, but very little which offer whatCBeebies Land does. Other substitutions could be different types of leisureactivities, such as soft play centres, indoor trampoline & space centres. Theseall offer activities for CBeebies Land customer range 3-6 years to do.
Differences inprices for competitors such as Twin Lakes online pay/day pass, certainly couldimpact customer choices, to compare Alton Towers charge an adult £33 all yearround & Twin Lakes peak season would be £19.99. Twin Lakes provides acheaper option for customers however they don’t get the experience of CBBCthemed attractions. https://www.
twinlakespark.co.uk/tickets-prices/ Supplier Power: The suppliers ofCBeebies Land is the BBC, they sell Alton Towers the rights to the CBBC themedattractions. If BBC were to finish this agreement then Alton Towers wouldn’thave a choice but to close this part of the park, adjust the ride names,designs etc otherwise it may be copyright which could damage Alton Towersfinancially.
The supplier certainly has power in this situation so it is MerlinEntertainments duty to ensure they keep a close relationship with theirsupplier, in order to keep the competitive advantage. Other supplierswould be the companies who design, produce and maintain the rides at CBeebiesLand, keeping it modern and safe. If the external companies who supply thisservice raise the costs then it may cause losses for Alton Towers, which mayencourage them to raise their prices of tickets.
Buyer Power: Customers of AltonTowers as a whole are less price sensitive because the park provides the bestthrill rides in the UK, however as many of the UGC has proven the CBeebies Landcustomers are more sensitive to the price with many people saying they wont bereturning due to the high price for the level of satisfaction when visiting. Ifthe prices raised more customers of CBeebies Land would be sensitive, outliningsome power within the buyer and how Alton Towers need to understand theirs alimit to what they can charge. The buyers havepower when visiting as groups, Alton Towers recognise larger families aren’twilling to spend excess amounts for everyone to visit together which is whyAlton Towers offer deals for larger parties, making the individual pricescheaper.
Alton Towersaccommodates for different social groups to some of their competitors, forexample social groups with lower income may choose alternative attractions whichare cheaper such as Twin Lakes & Gulliver’s Kingdom, where as Alton Towers mayattract higher income customers who are willing to pay that little more forbranded thrill rides. Review of internal capabilities:Resource-Based Viewallows the internal environment of Alton Towers/CBeebies Land, in terms oftheir resources and capabilities to be discussed and support the decision of astrategic action. Alton Towers have aselection of tangible assets, for example Merlin Entertainment own 370 hectaresof land within the park grounds, this gives them a great advantage if applyingto build any new rides, but also offers their customers a great amount ofEnglish countryside in which they can explore and walk around when visiting thepark, with great views and nature trails.
(370 hectaresref from case study) Alton Towers hasseveral properties on site and a short distance just off the park grounds. Theyown an aquarium, which is within the park, and included during the day passvisit, this is an additional attraction to the CBeebies Land & classicthrill rides, which gives them competitive advantage in the market. Followed bytheir “five hotel options at Alton Towers catering for the visitors who want tospend more than one day at the resort or who live some distance from it”. (Five hotels ref from case study background) Thisprovides a great incentive to customers who don’t want to rush their way aroundthe park, possibly missing some rides due to queues, especially as Alton Towersoffer free access to the park for a second day for customers who stop in thehotels. Again this is a great competitive advantage, as customers can have arelaxing, travel free experience for more than one day.
Following on fromsome example of their tangible assets, some of Alton Towers intangible assetsprovide them with a great advantage. The CBBC licensing in which MerlinEntertainment have agreed with BBC provides them with a unique offer forcustomers, having this intangible asset means customers looking for a CBBCthemed park only have one option within the Leisure Industry which attractsthem millions of customers a year. CBeebies Land islocated in the centre of the United Kingdom making it accessible for everyonearound the country with some travelling. Also being located on the border ofthe Peak District National Park provides the attraction with a beautiful,scenic location, for both while visiting but also when travelling to theattraction, passing by mountain views and old villages. Tacit knowledge is agreat asset in which CBeebies Land has, with Alton Towers Park being within theindustry since 1980 they have gained knowledge of technology, customer service,dealing with negative media and the list goes on.
This provides them withadvantage when growing their park, developing the brand and most importantlyhaving a relationship with customers. Critical Literature Review: Identifying problemswith CBeebies Land is not hard, to start begin with searching on one of themost common attraction websites available; Trip Advisor. Unfortunately forAlton Towers the first text, which catches your eye is a negative comment.However as an attraction CBeebies Land overall rating is 4/5 (Appendix 1),which is a positive impression, but as you look deeper, you cant help to noticethe high amount of bad comments. Finding numerous different negative commentssuch as prices, queue times, customer service, product quality and itcontinues. One Trip Advisorreview addressed their experience at CBeebies Land as a “Total rip off”,following up this with “I understand that its admission for the ‘whole park’but when you have a toddler with you people are not going to go into the mainpark on the rides!” “We were gobsmacked to see how small the park was”. (Appendix2) Another Trip Advisorhad similar comments with “£32 each for 4 people and got on 2 rides, biggestwaste of money”. “Also cant believe they charge you to park”.
“Every queue wasover an hour”, their overall comment of the trip was “an absolute joke”.(Appendix 3) A review from August2017 described their visit as “Extremely Disappointed” followed by “waited inlong queues from start to finish”, “an hour/45 minutes wait each ride”, “paid£112 & then had to pay £6 parking”. (Appendix 4) This customer wasspeechless for their overall experience, beginning the review with “meh”,following with lists of issues surrounding CBeebies Land, “rides kept breakingdown and we were given fast track vouchers to revisit the rides we’d beenwaiting in queues for”, “there really isn’t many rides”, “need subsidisedtickets for families just using CBeebies”, “£50 is extortionate for a handfulof rides and a few walk abounds”.
(Appendix 5) Within the reviewsthere are numerous different opinions of issues with CBeebies Land, howeverprice and queues are a continuous problem which is arising, with many customerscommenting on the value for money, so price proves to be a major issue,followed up by the charge for the attraction parking spaces. Another majorissue proves to be the queue times, with customers complaining they’re waitingto long, their children are getting restless & again relating back toprice, they aren’t experiencing enough attractions for what they pay.