Tracking brand positioning for an emerging destination: 2003 to 2015

Pike, Steven D., Gentle, Jane, Kelly, Louise, & Beatson, Amanda T. (2016) Tracking brand positioning for an emerging destination: 2003 to 2015. Tourism and Hospitality Research. (In Press)

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Abstract

Few published studies have monitored destination brand image over time. This temporal aspect is an important gap in the literature, given consensus around the role perceptions play in consumers’ decision making, and the ensuing emphasis on imagery in destination branding collateral. Whereas most destination image studies have been a snapshot of perceptions at one point in time, this paper presents findings from a survey implemented four times between 2003 and 2015. Brand image is the core construct in modelling destination branding performance, which has emerged as a relatively new field of research in the past decade. Using the consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) hierarchy, the project has benchmarked and monitored destination brand salience, image and resonance for an emerging regional destination, relative to key competitors, in the domestic Australian market; and the survey instrument has been demonstrated to be reliable in the context of short break holidays by car. What is particularly interesting to date is there has been relatively little change in the market positions of the five destinations, in spite of over a decade of marketing communications by the regional tourism organisations and their stakeholders, and more recently the mass of user-generated travel content on social media. The project didn’t analyse the actual marketing communications for each of the DMOs. Therefore an important implication is that irrespective of the level of marketing undertaken the DMOs seem to have had little control over the perceptions held in their largest market during this time period. Therefore it must be recognised any improvement in perceptions will likely take a long period of time, and so branding needs to be underpinned by a philosophy of a long term financial investment as well as commitment to a consistency of message over time; which given the politics of DMO decision making represents a considerable challenge.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 94089
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: destination image, short breaks, consumer-based brand equity, tourism, destination branding, social media, destination marketing, Australia, Queensland
DOI: 10.1177/1467358416646821
ISSN: 1742-9692
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TOURISM (150600) > Tourism Marketing (150604)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2016 00:54
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2016 07:10

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