PARAGRAPH 1 DESTINATION BRANDING DEFINITION A DMO s role is to try to claim a substantial position in the tourism market Consequently a significant marketing process has to be carried out to identify the prospective Key Performance Indicators KPIs to see what makes the area different and unique Professor Liping Cai 2002 describes it as a continuous process which is responsible for creating unique tourist experiences and build a sustained image that emotionally bonds with the host community stakeholders and resonates with its target markets This indicates that destination branding is a subset of destination marketing further implying that it is an ongoing innovative process which packages and promotes its image through the selected KPIs in order to generate an effective destination brand mix The selected brand communicates the place s identity and contributes to increasing its value in defining the tourist s destination choice In turn a strong destination brand determines and manipulates the consumers perception of reality in a way which boosts their expectations of the place s value The study carried out by Qu et al 2011 proposes a framework influenced by Pike 2009 that the overall image of a destination is the result of destination branding through a cognitive unique and affective image which would result in the visitor s intention to visit return and or intention to recommend Hence a brand plays a role based on financial sentimental and experiential value through a continuous relationship between the product and the consumer To ensure that the destination branding is effective constant analysis has to be carried out to ensure that the destination is true to its brand through statistics and sustainable profitability
FUNCTIONS ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES Mainly a brand is the ambassador of communicating the distinctive and compelling qualities of the destination s facilities However destination branding is accountable for a wide array of functions such as the destination image and positioning The role of a destination image in the branding process is to create an intangible representation or idea which instantly affects the perception of the consumer There is a clear distinction between destination images classified by Gunn 1972 which are either organic or induced An organic image is the perceived idea shaped by the prospective tourist from their exposure and knowledge of the destination On the other hand an induced image is the manufactured result from communications and promotions of a chosen marketing strategy for the branding process This ties in with the brand's awareness of prospective or returning customers which eases their identification and recollection through its most effective images and or symbols Hence an effective destination image increases its brand awareness and by so doing also reduces its search costs which which a prospective visitor highly considers throughout the decision making process The image is obligated to decrease the perceived risk of the traveller as unlike other products a destination cannot be tried and tested prior to its purchase Regardless of their brand tourists subjectively classify destinations into three as proposed by Tasci and Kozak 2006 The classifications consist of consideration inert and inept The considered country as the name implies are places which a visitor is aware of and fully intends to travel to
The inert collection comprises the destinations that the traveler knows of but may not go to for a stipulated time period due to factors such as finance accessibility work etc The inept set includes the places where a tourist knows of but has no motivation to visit Other areas which a traveler is not cognisant of are part of the unawareness set These classifications are generated from the organic and or induced images exposed to the eventual traveler and or recurring visitor The phenomenon is called Destination Positioning and it is not something that the brand can shift because it solely belongs to the consumer on a cognitive and affective level It is the perception and the opinion of how the target markets collectively respond to the destination brand based on the consistent branding mix Therefore some destinations could appeal more to a specific targeted market than another for a number of reasons such as religion politics accessibility health etc Advantages As aforementioned a brand has to appeal through its personality to establish a relationship with its consumers Its personality enables the destination brand to enhance its values More than an identifier a brand also represents the organisation itself its reputation and core values Gilmore 2002 highlights the importance of said values communicated by a destination brand as one of the essential elements to obtain the consumers trust
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