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27 minutes ago, Mark9 said:

 

I don't think broken, worn out rides is a good selling point for a brand though.

 

Plus a confusion over who the target market actually is...

 

One year it's for families, next year it's the MOST TERRIFYING YEAR YET!

 

As badly as the places are run at least Chessie and Towers have quite distinct and solid branding behind them...

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Is that not even more of a reason to sort the brand out before the park opens?

 

Clear up the confusion, get people who they're targeting to actually think about visiting before they get tempted by Chessington / Towers? By just delaying that, it only harms them even more.

 

State of the park and all that doesn't help either of course, but a strong brand campaign early on can at least mask that to encourage people to come. And if they actually start sorting the park out, that would be a bonus too...

 

Of course part of that is wishful thinking, but surely them doing absolutely nothing on a marketing front is worse than them doing something, anything?

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7 minutes ago, TPGG said:

The excruciatingly tedious cynicism of some people on here really begs the question why they're on this forum in the first place. 

 

Constructively criticising the parks for their flaws is a much better option then pretending everything is fine... It is a DISCUSSION forum after all no?

 

At the end of the day we all want the parks to succeed, I want Thorpe to become a park I would actually plan a trip to again, same for Chessie really, as they've both regressed as parks over the last few years... It's not helped by looking longingly across the Channel and seeing the quality additions on the continent, and wondering why the second biggest theme park operator can't match even decent quality additions that some small family run parks are getting...

 

 

 

Thorpe have a brand issue problem, not helped by their constant changing philosophies and target audience, which added onto that they actually have nothing to shout about addition wise means they haven't got a marketing campaign to speak of... 

 

Pushing for the birthday celebration would be sensible, but are the park able to get a budget for that? Do they have anything confirmed for this season events wise beyond Fright Nights? Wouldn't be surprised if they've had a review of the events last season and had a lot of question marks over their successes.. I honestly no idea of the whole year of Walking Dead or Love Island Lates were actually critical successes, especially the Lates stuff beyond goons being able to whore some night rides...

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30 minutes ago, TPGG said:

The excruciatingly tedious cynicism of some people on here really begs the question why they're on this forum in the first place. 

 

Are you saying we should leave because we don't just praise everything Thorpe does? I literally called Quantum a god tier ride the other day. What more do you want from me?

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‘If we can hold off anything depicting a referendum, that would be great’.

 

Thorpe of all the main Merlin attractions (by far) has the most significant issues concerning brand, marketing, identity and as an overall product. Chessington and Towers are not immune to noticeable issues, but are doing comparatively better as whole. 

 

The park was booming in the naughties, but is now slipping in a worrying state as a result of poor product offering, decisions and experience. The park for most guests is probably seen as an overpriced, run down place with unreliable horror themed rides with an abusive clientele and ‘over worked’ staff. They are likely  one of the lowest performing major tourist attractions in the U.K. 

 

The possible soloution is to get back to basics. Look at what they are offering and who to? Create marketing to appeal to that offering and stick with it. Work on park appearances and experience. When these are sorted, start investing in some quality ‘long term’ reliable hardware and infrastructure. 

 

I think they are probably overdue a new entranve too considering their existing one has just been updated cheaply every few years.

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1 hour ago, TPGG said:

The excruciatingly tedious cynicism of some people on here really begs the question why they're on this forum in the first place. 

Yeah, I'm perhaps being a bit tedious with my cynicism and critique on the whole 'why aren't Thorpe marketing themselves' issue at the moment. That's particularly true when comparing them to other parks; every park is different, has their different situations, strategies and so forth.

 

But time and time again, Thorpe have screwed it up. Since about 2014, they've kept changing their target market. It's never been coherent. It's a stupid way to market a big theme park. But if they're going to do it like that, at least set it up so that at the start of the year, everyone knows what you're doing. You've got 2 theme parks advertising, one shouting about how they've got a new family attraction, and one building on the success of a thrill attraction. Leave it too late, and regardless of what Thorpe do, they'll have missed the boat because people will already have in their minds their plans.

 

By now, they should know what they're doing this year (and ideally have it set so it's coherent with any future plans), and how they are going to brand themselves. Push that - the opportunity is there, so just bloody do it.

 

 

Also, I'm normally not that cynical about Thorpe. Even if I don't like everything they do, I can usually see why they've done it. But we're at a point where Thorpe has little identity and other big UK parks in and out of Merlin are improving, and Thorpe are literally sitting there putting memes on social media. It boggles the mind.

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Thorpe needs to go back to 2014 marketing where an island like no other was used. You could easily use the same format for adverts except change the line at the end saying 'and now new for 2019 there are...'.

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Nick Varney at the end of the day is a brand creator. Its what he worked as for many years and its what he has focused on as a CEO. You have the overall Merlin brand, the sub brands (thorpe, alton ect.) and then you have the microbrands (nemesis, cheap and tacky IPs).

 

Now Merlin is typically very good at the sub branding and the microbrands. There are exceptions with Thorpe being one of them. Thorpe lacks direction and as such its brand is poor. However its issues wouldn't be as significant if the overall brand was used more.

 

Take Cadbury's, nearly every product is Cadbury's ... (Cadbury's cream egg, Cadbury's dairy milk). I feel to maximise revenue and reduce on advertising costs Merlin should be pushing the master brand more. It would drive up pass sales and would mean customer location is far less of an issue for advertising campaigns. The midways cant afford tv advertising by themselves but a combined campaign with the whole group can drive customers towards them which may never have considered it.

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40 minutes ago, Project LC said:

Take Cadbury's, nearly every product is Cadbury's ... (Cadbury's cream egg, Cadbury's dairy milk). I feel to maximise revenue and reduce on advertising costs Merlin should be pushing the master brand more. It would drive up pass sales and would mean customer location is far less of an issue for advertising campaigns. The midways cant afford tv advertising by themselves but a combined campaign with the whole group can drive customers towards them which may never have considered it.

Going to break my self-imposed temporary post ban to just comment on this one. The main reason Cadbury does well is that their product is actually good and we associate Cadbury = nice choccies (eating a creme egg whilst I type this lol). Also, you get a consistent product.

 

The problem with actively associating Merlin with any attraction to the GP (Nick Varney has often stated this is something he doesn't want to do) is that if a member of said GP has a bad day at say Thorpe Park and they see "Merlin" at the resort and then they see "London Dungeons" also associated with Merlin on an advert, take a guess who're going to expect a disappointing day at the London Dungeons in line with their disappointing day at Thorpe Park and subsequently not want to go to the LDs? I mean, we enthusiasts already make the connection Merlin = M£rlin, if the GP do it that would harm business significantly.

 

Effectively, not doing your proposed marketing scheme means a bad experience at one Merlin attraction doesn't affect a person's decision to go to another Merlin owned attraction. Also, not all Merlin attractions are the same quality which the GP will catch on to rendering your proposed marketing scheme void in terms of getting the GP to go to more Merlin attractions.

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Going to break my self-imposed temporary post ban to just comment on this one. The main reason Cadbury does well is that their product is actually good and we associate Cadbury = nice choccies (eating a creme egg whilst I type this lol). Also, you get a consistent product.



Since Kraft changed the recipe I think peoples opinion of them are already changing for the worst.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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12 minutes ago, PJ. said:

 

 


Since Kraft changed the recipe I think peoples opinion of them are already changing for the worst.

 

 

Kraft became Mondelezé International not long after buying Cadbury's. The recipe was changed in the name of profit and blaming changing tastes and political pressure to reduce sugar. Its a prime example of the owner not understanding the brand they have, which is a similar problem Varney has. He fundamentally has failed to grasp the importance of the Merlin brand and as a result focuses on selling the sub brands within the other sub brands. They should be selling the master brand, not the hundreds of other small ones. 

 

Another consequence of this lack of a master brand is that Varney and the board seem to micromanage. The sub brands get a lot of influence from higher ups and push them towards a goal that doesn't really benefit the product and benefits the ability to sell the product in the other sub brands.

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2 hours ago, Project LC said:

I feel to maximise revenue and reduce on advertising costs Merlin should be pushing the master brand more.

I remember seeing Facebook and email adverts last year with this sort of thing, the Facebook page was called Merlin Backstage or something similar and it was advertising a range of different Merlin attractions and Merlin passes over two adverts. The Merlin pass is currently the main thing linking all the attractions together and the GP who own it are aware of the 'Merlin' brand/company.

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4 hours ago, Project LC said:

Another consequence of this lack of a master brand is that Varney and the board seem to micromanage. The sub brands get a lot of influence from higher ups and push them towards a goal that doesn't really benefit the product and benefits the ability to sell the product in the other sub brands.

2nd best thing said on TPM 2019 after Wubbybubby's.

Varney wants to manage Merlin as if it were a small company. Problem: You've got to know everyone and everything in the daily operation of your small company. You can't do that with a large company. Effectively, you get the above problem with each sub brand's management focusing on a strategy from Merlin higher-ups that may not necessarily work for that particular sub-brand.

 

In terms of profits, Thorpe DO focus on investing in attractions but due to a lack of clear direction - public want more family attractions but Thorpe want to be a thrill-seekers paradise which is a smaller section of the UK market - it's often just throwing money down the drain for additions that a few years later become obsolete like Angry Birds Land.

 

I still like the chocolate taste!

5 hours ago, PJ. said:

Since Kraft changed the recipe I think peoples opinion of them are already changing for the worst.

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12 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

In terms of profits, Thorpe DO focus on investing in attractions but due to a lack of clear direction - public want more family attractions but Thorpe want to be a thrill-seekers paradise which is a smaller section of the UK market - it's often just throwing money down the drain for additions that a few years later become obsolete like Angry Birds Land.

Thorpe invest in scary attractions as that is what the surveys say. I feel it is a classic case of mistaking customer feedback for what you want it to say. Regardless customer feedback is a poor way to plan long term. Tastes and trends change in the long term and asking people just provides a snapshot at the time. Merlin are in a position where they should be solid attractions with minor innovation. Instead we we get crazy levels of innovation without the budget and the brand centric board saying this microbrand must be xyz so we can sell it because that's what the feedback said. 

 

The people do not know what they want. They are basing the long term aims of the company off of people who have no knowledge of the industry and what it can do. Another issue is that the pay is poor higher up compared to the competition that they don't have many experts but that rant is for another time. 

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19 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

Going to break my self-imposed temporary post ban to just comment on this one. The main reason Cadbury does well is that their product is actually good and we associate Cadbury = nice choccies (eating a creme egg whilst I type this lol). Also, you get a consistent product.

 

The problem with actively associating Merlin with any attraction to the GP (Nick Varney has often stated this is something he doesn't want to do) is that if a member of said GP has a bad day at say Thorpe Park and they see "Merlin" at the resort and then they see "London Dungeons" also associated with Merlin on an advert, take a guess who're going to expect a disappointing day at the London Dungeons in line with their disappointing day at Thorpe Park and subsequently not want to go to the LDs? I mean, we enthusiasts already make the connection Merlin = M£rlin, if the GP do it that would harm business significantly.

 

Effectively, not doing your proposed marketing scheme means a bad experience at one Merlin attraction doesn't affect a person's decision to go to another Merlin owned attraction. Also, not all Merlin attractions are the same quality which the GP will catch on to rendering your proposed marketing scheme void in terms of getting the GP to go to more Merlin attractions.

Perhaps they should aim to provide a good customer experience so that people think positively of the brand?

 

Why is that too much to ask when it should be the fundamental basic to any visitor attraction??

 

(Also 5 creme eggs instead of 6 when it used to be 6, what's all that about!)

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Seems like Thorpe's twitter team actively want to be roasted now:

There's many more replies, but didn't want to make this post too long. Strangely enough, Thorpe (I think for the first time this year) actually acknowledged the negative tweets being made...

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Well the current social media is really trying to p off their followers. Basically saying, yeah we know what we're bad at but we're going to mess with you anyway just for lols rather than tell you what the improvements are.

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I think the current social media team are trying to get fired with their current attitude. 

 

There is a fine line between banterous social media and damn right offensive and immature posting, the latter seems to be much nearer to the latter. 

 

They arw basically cominf across like they are deliberately trashing their own product, even if it’s a potential dig at their parent company, 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cedar Creek said:

I think the current social media team are trying to get fired with their current attitude. 

 

There is a fine line between banterous social media and damn right offensive and immature posting, the latter seems to be much nearer to the latter. 

 

They arw basically cominf across like they are deliberately trashing their own product, even if it’s a potential dig at their parent company, 

 

 

 

 

well trash whatever is left of it, they have done a great job of doing it the last two years.

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Thorpe Park Mania: 

Quote

Thorpe Park need to acknowledge and work on their downfalls or we're not visiting anymore

Thorpe Park:

Quote

You guys have guessed our negatives that we admit to having which we're pleased to announce we're also working on

Thorpe Park Mania:

Quote

Disgusting! Absolute garbage social media team! How dare they admit to knowing their own negatives and claim they're working on them! Sweep it all under the carpet! Fire them!

 

3 hours ago, Stuntman707 said:

Basically saying, yeah we know what we're bad at but we're going to mess with you anyway just for lols rather than tell you what the improvements are.

It's clearly not the lols, I view it as Thorpe Park taking negative feedback head on and telling guests that their complaints are being worked on. Winter Update series showed them reducing the "tired" look of the resort (which a lot of people complain about here). I also read somewhere about this winter (I think it was a Trip Advisor response) them working on making changes to reduce queue times exiting the car park. That said, it is a weird way to tell guests you're working on their complaints as it doesn't come across as professional as it could have although I think that's because of the image the park try to portray themselves as on social media. I'm guessing improvements will be revealed on opening day in March.

 

Kieran doesn't seem to understand how much rides actually cost.

Does anyone know what the fifth problem was?

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