The acronym stands for the Political, Economic, Social, and Technological issues that could affect the strategic development of a business. According to the Internet Centre for Management and Business Administration, Anon (2003), identifying PEST influences is a useful way of summarising the external environment in which a business operates. However, it must be followed up by consideration of how a business should respond to these influences. PEST analysis has the very important role to identify the opportunities and the threats from the macro environment of a business.
Political Analysis The PEST analysis of a business usually begins with examination of the political issues that may affect it. According to Doyle (1994), those issues may include: the environmental regulation and protection; corporate and consumer taxation; governmental influence on supply and demand; government legislation; and competition regulation. The political environment influences demand in several ways. Government legislation influences all that can and cannot be bought and in what circumstances.
Also, government plays a role in determining the distribution of wealth and income in the country through taxation and the welfare system. On the other hand, there are three main ways in which government affects supply. Firstly, government can propose legislation on how firms should operate, what they can produce, how they can produce it, and what inputs they can use to do it. Secondly, government may specify how certain groups should move (safety standards). And finally, government can also affect firms costs trough taxes and subsidies.
The political environment can have certain effects on the amusement park, such as governmental changes through laws defining the age limit for using the facilities. This may result in decreased numbers of visitors, especially young people. Through taxation and the welfare system, government will prevent more people from visiting the park; people will have to pay taxes on income and support the welfare system of the country. Also, by enforcing heavy taxes, government will indirectly lead to increases of the firms costs and respectively the final price of the product or service.
Through health and safety regulations, the government may find some of the facilities unsafe and not permit their operation. This will lead to losses for the park from unrealized ticket sales. On the other hand, government may also give subsidies to the firm that will increase the supply, and this will lead to an increase of the firms profits. So, political influences can have both positive and negative effects on the park. Economic Analysis The political analysis is followed by the assessment of the economic issues that may have effects on the business.
As mentioned by Doyle (1994), those economic matters may in- clude: economic growth, both overall and by industry sector; governmental monetary policy (interest rates); policy towards unemployment (minimum wage); taxation (corporate and personal); exchange rates (effects on demand by overseas customers). An increase in the interest rates by government would affect peoples ability to pay in a negative way. Such an increase may prevent many from visiting the park for entertainment since they will put more weight on other priorities.
Many people believe that the prices for the facilities at the park are already extremely high. The hotel prices are exorbitant for some people, and visitors from other towns in the UK must travel back to their homes at the end of the day. Depending on the overall performance of the sector and the economy, the park may experience positive or negative consequences. The government may affect the park business in a very important way through the minimum wage for home consumers. If the government sets the minimum wage at higher levels, the home consumers will have more money to allocate for entertainment purposes.
Also, through its policy on the currency exchange rates, government may positively or negatively affect the number of overseas consumers: a lower exchange rate of the British pound would allow many foreigners to afford the park experience. By exchanging their currencies for British pounds at a reasonable rate, many foreign consumers would most likely choose to visit the park. Social Analysis The economic analysis is then followed by the assessment of the social-cultural issues that may have effects on the business.
Based on the information by Armstrong (1991) and Doyle (1994), those social-cultural concerns may include: income distribution; demographics (age structure of the population, gender, family size and composition); labour and social mobility; lifestyle changes; attitudes to work and leisure; fashions and trends. The different lifestyles of people affect the park in various ways. For example, elderly people would not ride on the roller-coasters. However, this group of people can walk around the park and explore the beautiful gardens while the kids enjoy the rides. A disadvantage for the operation of the park is the weather.
Since most of the park facilities, such as the roller-coasters, are situated outdoors, the weather conditions often dictate customers preferences. Many people are affected by the weather and are discouraged from visiting the park in bad weather conditions. People can also socialize while visiting the park. The park performs the function of a meeting point for youngsters as well as middle-aged people. Many people visit the park in order to mix and socialize with others. The ability of the park to provide a good blend of appealing attractions on its grounds would ultimately result in increased number of visitors from all ages.
A comprehensive survey of consumer preferences may prove very helpful to the park marketers in their decisions for new rides and attractions for the future. Technological Analysis Lastly, the social analysis is followed by the assessment of the technological issues that may have effects on the business. According to Doyle (1994), those technological issues may in- clude: government spending on research; government and industry focus on technological effort; new discoveries and development; impact of changes in information technology; and finally the Internet.
Although the technological factors may not be as important to the theme park as the economic or social ones, the rapid development of technology is affecting the amusement park in certain ways. The park staff has developed a web page, which serves many purposes. On the website, customers can book their tickets or reserve rooms at the hotels. The park also has an online store, where customers can buy souvenirs and memorabilia. In addition, technology has been harnessed to make tourist attractions much more interesting. That is why the park is appropriately equipped with the latest technological innovations in the field. Five Forces Analysis.
The Five Forces analysis of a business helps the marketer to contrast a competitive environment. According to Porter (2003), it has similarities with other tools for environmental assessment, such as PEST analysis, but tends to focus on the single business rather than a single product or range of products. Five Forces analysis looks at five key areas; the threat of entry; the power of buyers; the power of suppliers; the threat of substitutes; and competitive rivalry. Five Forces analysis focuses on the micro environment of a business. Threat of entry The first area that Five Forces analysis focuses on is the threat of entry.
As believed by Porter (2003), some of the important considerations in this part include: the high or low cost of entry (how much it will cost for the latest technology); ease of access to distribution channels (do the competitors have the distribution channels covered); and government action (whether new laws will be introduced that may weaken the firms competitive position). Firstly, the park management must consider the costs of the latest technology. This is important for the amusement park because most of its attractions, especially the roller-coasters, are heavily dependent on technology.
The park has expenses directly related to the maintenance and repair of its attractions and machines, and the cost of new technological advances that may secure more efficient elements that will reduce costs for maintenance and repairs must be considered. Secondly, another important element is the ease of access to distribution channels. The park also has competition in the UK coming from other theme parks. Considerable fractions of the distribution channels have been taken by the firms direct competitors, and the park must carefully determine which distribution channels to target and use.
The non-traditional distribution channels, such as the Internet, may be a good option for the park; tickets for excursions to the theme park can be sold through Internet retailers as well as the parks own online store. And finally, actions taken by government may have a considerable influence on the amusement park. The threat of new laws that may weaken the firms competitive position is very much present; The park must consider such legislation and prepare strategies to deal with the possible consequences. Power of buyers The second area of the Five Forces analysis focuses on the power of buyers.
Some important considerations in this area include, according to Porter (2003): high power where there are a few, large players in a market; whether there is a large number of small suppliers; and low switching costs. The power of buyers seems to be high in the theme park industry in the UK. In this area of the Five Forces analysis, The park should be concerned with its direct competitors. Even though, there are many other amusement parks in the UK. The number of suppliers is also an important element; the park may gain an edge by collaborating with brand name food suppliers, for example.
The decision of the park management to introduce some of the most well-known fast-food restaurants on its grounds may prove to be a very productive one in the long run. Since mostly young people visit the park, the presence of these restaurants will most likely lead to increased number of visitors in the teenagers age range. Other partnerships may prove to be very rewarding as well: recent collaboration with a well-known car manufacturer may result in higher attendance from people who like this brand and will visit in order to use the newly introduced brands race car simulators at the park.
Power of suppliers The third part of the Five Forces analysis focuses on the power of suppliers. As mentioned by Porter (2003), some important considerations in this area include: high switching costs (switching from one supplier to another); and high power when the brand is powerful (Mercedes, IBM, Microsoft). The park must consider the costs of switching from one supplier to another. Certainly, the theme park has contracts and agreements with firms that supply technology, parts, and resources for the operation of the parks attractions and rides.
The park should establish strong relations with current suppliers, thus eliminating the high costs associated with switching from one supplier to another. Furthermore, the park managers and marketers must continue to promote and work for the parks image. This is very important because the park will enjoy additional numbers of visitors just because of its good reputation, much like companies of the ranks of IBM and Coca-Cola. Threat of substitutes The fourth component of the Five Forces analysis focuses on the threat of substitutes.
In accordance with Porter (2003), some important considerations in this area include: productfor-product substitution; substitution of need; generic substitution (competing for the currency in consumers pockets). The park must be aware of the possible substitutes for its product, which is entertainment. Many forms of entertainment exist and the park competes not only with other amusement parks but also with other providers of leisure, such as cinemas and arcades. The park has an important advantage over other suppliers of amusement; the park offers several types of entertainment and combines many activities at one location.
Therefore, the main competitors of the park remain the other major UK theme parks. The park should not be especially concerned with substitution of need, for instance, because people will always need and seek entertainment. In this area, the park again must pay attention to its direct rivals that are competing for the currency in the consumers pockets. Through the collaboration with American family channel Nickelodeon, the park combines yet another form of entertainment and thus eliminates Multiplex cinemas as direct competitors.
Competitive Rivalry The fifth and final component of the Five Forces analysis focuses on the competitive rivalry. Competitive rivalry is one of the key areas for a business, because in many cases it may determine the marketing strategies that an enterprise will develop and implement, as concluded by Porter (2003). The park is a participant in an industry that is quite competitive. The United Kingdom, where the park is located, also provides good grounds for competitive rivalry. The purchasing power of British consumers is among the highest in the world, and naturally those consumers have high expectations.
That is the reason why companies constantly compete for better products and more attractive offers. In order to gain an edge on its competitors, in 2003 the park has introduced a water park and a themed brand new hotel to accommodate the increasing number of visitors. The hotel will be the first hotel in Europe to combine accommodation with a water park. The competitive rivalry is one of the most important areas for the park; if the firm is able to outdo its direct competitors, it can only expect good profits and stable performance in the future.
Bibliography Anon. (2003) PEST Analysis. [online]. Internet Center for Management and Business Administration, Inc. Available from: http://www. quickmba. com/strategy/pest/ [Accessed 29nd June 2008]. Armstrong, Gary and Kotler, Philip. (1991) Principles of Marketing. 5th edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice Hall. Doyle, P. (1994) Marketing Management and Strategy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice Hall. Porter, M. (2003) 5 Forces Analysis. [online]. Wikipedia. Available from: http://www. franteractive. net/Porter-Five-Forces. html [Accessed 29nd June 2008].