Case study: Ardverikie Estate Market Assessments
Ardverikie Estate in the Scottish Highlands is a former hunting estate that has diversified into the tourism and leisure sectors through the provision of self-catering accommodation and weddings, as well as being a location for walking, estate drives and clay pigeon shooting.
We have undertaken market assessments for a variety of tourism business options at Ardverikie Estate, including weddings, guided tours, retail and catering. The aim of the research was to provide insight into the market characteristics for the proposals and to make recommendations as to the appropriate product and positioning.
Our first project with Ardverikie Estate kicked off with a spectacular wintry road trip and tour of the Estate (where we took this picture!), allowing us to understand the current visitor offer and the location in relation to tourism and leisure demand generators.
Whatever the business proposal, we started with an overview of anticipated demand for a project. This could come from the local residential market (which we profiled using Mosaic) as well as the overnight tourism market (which we profiled using a range of published data sources and the latest industry intelligence). In each case we identified trends, forecasts, findings and insights that were pertinent to the proposals and which might inform the propensity of these markets to use them.
We then provided an overview of the existing supply of similar products in the market area. The size of the market area varied according to the product involved (people will travel a lot further for their wedding, for example, than for a coffee) but in each case we profiled the existing competitor supply and its characteristics, identifying what appears to be working well in the area and where there might be gaps in provision. In some cases this involved ‘mystery shopping’ a potential competitor to determine levels of service and indications of existing demand.
All of this was set in context with an overview of the relevant sector – national and international trends, observations, future projections from tourism agencies, market intelligence companies like Mintel, and trade and industry press. In some cases we supplemented this with consultation with public sector stakeholders, such as Scottish Enterprise or VisitScotland, or with market intermediaries and suppliers (when investigating the weddings market it is often really useful to speak with wedding planners, registrars and even florists). Again this allowed us to identify opportunities and gaps in the market and to understand the competitive position.
Our reports concluded with a Statement of Opportunity that brought together the findings from the research and assessed the opportunity for the Ardverikie proposals, making recommendations as to their potential or whether they should be adjusted to better meet the demands of the market. Scotinform made recommendations in terms of product, positioning, price points, anticipated throughputs and operations.
Ardverikie Estate has used our reports to inform its business planning and some of the projects are being progressed.
“Scotinform gave us a very thorough analysis of the possible customer base for our projects, as well as good insight into likely competitors. The information provided has been just as useful for us evaluating projects that are not worth progressing as those that are. The results are clearly independent and objective – they are not just designed to tell us what we want to hear”
Phil Lloyd, Estate Manager, Ardverikie Estate
We understand the requirements of a market assessment and ensure that we give due consideration to each aspect.
We do not apply a ‘standardised’ approach to this work – in each case the market size, definition of competitor and scope of the project is decided according to the client brief.
Our reports are easy to understand and to share with a wider audience, including Board members and funding partners.
Our Mosaic Licence allows us to profile the local and day visit population for a project using up to date information.
Working across the tourism and leisure sector, we are well placed to incorporate published research findings and market intelligence to ensure that the findings are considered in context.