Taj Group unveils Tajness to build upon brand equity
A file photo of Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

A file photo of Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Mumbai: Indian Hotels Company Ltd, which runs the Taj group of hotels, unveiled a new concept called Tajness in Mumbai on Friday. The brand promise behind Tajness is sincere care, according to the company.

“The idea of Tajness stems from who we are. Brand Taj has a great equity,” managing director and chief executive Rakesh Sarna told journalists at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, the flagship property of the company. “We did not want to squander away that advantage.”

Sincerity and care have are being articulated through the new brand promise. Tajness will be exhibited in many forms he said, whether it is smell, touch, feel or taste.

For instance, the company is bringing about uniformity in fragrance and music across its properties. It has chosen jasmine as the fragrance for its hotels, nearly 100 in all. Some of its signature dishes will also be available across its hotel brands including Vivanta and Gateway.

“Tajness will be unveiled at all Taj properties by the end of next year,” Sarna said.

The concept aims to redefine the experience for customers across all Taj properties and bring about uniformity in look and feel and the quality of service.

To bring about the change, the company will focus on training of the staff. “It will be more counselling than training to give them a sense of ownership and explain how important their role is,” Sarna said.

Samit Sinha, founder and managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, a strategic advisory firm, said Tajness was a splendid idea.

“If you are in the hospitality industry, it is the totality of the experience that counts. There are multiple touch points—processes, food, stationary, linen— they are all integrated. These elements give you a specific feel. That’s what makes a brand. If Taj can capture the sensory, olfactory and visual aspects, it will be distinct Tajness. It will set it apart,” Sinha said.

“Tajness will succeed if its is palpable and not just a catchphrase,” said Sinha.

Agreed Ambi M G Parmeswaran, brand strategist and founder of Brand-building.com: “I think all service brands need to have a ‘service quality uniqueness’ and there is no harm in giving it a name like ‘Tajness’. Just as all good brands need to be periodically reviewed and refreshed, so too the core brand promise. So Tajness will also need to be reviewed and refreshed.”

Sanjiv Tyagi, independent consultant for the hospitality industry, said that Taj may be having to take a re-look at its strategy owing to stiff competition from international brands such as Starwoods and Interncontinental.

“One needs to understand the trigger for this change and see how it pans out across properties,” he said.

Indian Hotels Company Ltd, branded as the Taj Group, is a chain of hotels and resorts. The company is part of the Tata group, one of India’s largest business conglomerates.


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