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Managing destination brands: establishing a theoretical foundation

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There is general agreement in the literature that the marketing of places as brands requires “a special type of marketing” (Ashworth 1993, p. 648). But while the problems inherent in place marketing are well documented (see for example Karavatzis and Ashworth 2005) very little attention has been given to the development of a theory of destination branding which can be used to guide destination brand managers and form the basis of future research. The conclusions from a review of the literature are tested against the experiences of practitioners (Churchill 1979) by means of 25 depth interviews with Senior Managers in 20 Destination Marketing Organisations. Five critical antecedents of successful destination branding are identified: stakeholder partnerships, brand leadership, departmental coordination, brand communications and brand culture. Two key mediating factors are also identified: brand reality and brand architecture. The managerial implications of these findings are discussed.
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Keywords: CORPORATE BRANDING; DESTINATION BRANDING; QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION; SERVICES BRANDING; THEORY DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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