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Destination Branding
Alastair M. Morrison
Donald J. Anderson
Purdue University
June 10, 2002
Permission to quote is kindly provided if appropriate reference given.
For follow-up information, contact the moderators at 1-765-494-7905.
The PIB Model
What is a brand?
What is destination branding?
What is a destination brand?
What a brand is not …..just!
Destination branding successes
Five phases of brand development
Brand identity development
Implications for CVBs
Are You Confused about
Destination Branding?
A plethora
of terms
The PIB Model
Destination Image
Role of Image in Destination
Travelers’ images of destinations play an
important role in destination choice.
“Image differentiates tourist destinations
from each other and is an integral and
influential part of the traveler’s decision
process” (Baloglu and Brinberg, 1997).
One of the reasons is the intangibility of
destinations. They cannot be sampled or
tested out before the purchase like most
Definition of Destination Image
 The sum of beliefs, ideas, and impressions
that a person has of a destination
(Crompton, 1979).
 A set of cognitions and affections that
represent an entity to an individual
(Mazursky and Jacoby, 1986).
 A mental representation of an object or
place (Fridgen, 1987).
 The visual or mental impression of a place,
a product, or an experience held by the
general public (Milman and Pizam, 1995).
Components of Destination Image
 Gunn (1972) identified two components of
 Organic: Images formed by individuals
themselves through such things as past
experiences with destinations, and through
unbiased sources of information (e.g., news
reports, movies, newspaper articles, etc.).
 Induced: Images created through information
received from external sources, including
destination advertising and promotion.
Destination Positioning
What is Positioning?
“Positioning starts with a product. A piece of merchandise, a
service, a company, an institution, or even a person. But
positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning
is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is you
position the product in the mind of the prospect.”
Al Ries and Jack Trout. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.
“Positioning begins with the customer. But positioning is not
so much what you say about your products or company
as much as it is what your customers say about you.”
Regis McKenna. Relationship Marketing.
What is Positioning?
“Positioning is the act of designing the
company’s offering and image to occupy a
distinctive place in the target market’s mind.”
Philip Kotler. Marketing Management: The Millennium Edition.
“Positioning is the development of a service and
a marketing mix to occupy a specific place in
the minds of customers within target markets.”
Alastair Morrison. Hospitality and Travel Marketing.
Positioning Success Stories
The Uncola
Where’s the beef?
Destination Branding
What is a Brand?
“A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or
design, or combination of them,
intended to identify the goods or
services of one seller or group of
sellers and to differentiate them from
those of competitors.”
Kotler, Philip. (2000). Marketing management: The millennium edition.
Prentice-Hall, p. 404
The Great Power of Brand Names
Definition of Destination Branding
Destination branding is a process used
to develop a unique identity and
personality that is different from all
competitive destinations.
Destination branding is “selecting a
consistent brand element mix to
identify and distinguish a destination
through positive image building” (Cai,
“Branding is perhaps the most powerful
marketing weapon available to
contemporary destination marketers”
(Morgan and Pritchard, 2002, p. 11)
Definition of Destination Branding
Destination branding is about combining all
things associated with the 'place' (i.e., its
products and services from various industries - agriculture; tourism; sports; arts; investment;
technology; education, etc.) that collaborate
under one brand. Its aim is to capture the
essence of the destination, in a unified manner,
and can be consumed simultaneously at a
symbolic and experiential level. It is then used
to market those unique added values to
consumer needs and sustaining its success in
the face of competition.
What is a Destination Brand?
A destination brand is:
A way to communicate a destination’s
unique identity to visitors
A means of differentiating a destination
from its competitors
A uniform “look” that all destination
partners can consistently use
A symbol, name, term or design, or
combination of these elements
What a Brand is Not …… Just!
A destination brand brand is not just:
 An advertising slogan (or tag line)
 A logo to stick on a t-shirt
 A distinctive color scheme
 A brochure or Web site
Vacuous =
Vague or
for Don!!
And definitely not:
 A vacuous statement that locals have dreamed
up to improve community self-image
 A “pet” idea of a local politician to drum up all
types of economic development
Challenges of Destination
 Destinations are not a single product but
composite products consisting of a mix of
different components (the destination mix).
 Destination marketers have little control over
the destination mix they are branding.
 There is a diverse range of organizations and
partners involved in crafting and delivering on
the brand.
 Often there is a lack of enough funding for
branding efforts.
 Political influences may be felt.
Corporate Tourism Brands
Destination Branding Successes:
Destination Branding Successes:
Destination Branding Successes:
Midwest Regional
Then ……What is a Good Brand?
Consistent with positioning
Conveys excitement and quality
Expresses the destination’s personality
Transportable to the Web as a domain
Well-accepted by all partners
Then ……What is a Good Brand?
An emotional attachment to the
destination must be built with a brand that
Conveying powerful ideas
Enthusing for partners and stakeholders
Resonating with visitors
Morgan and Pritchard, 2002, p. 27
Five Phases of Destination
Phase 1: Market investigation, analysis
and strategic recommendations
Phase 2: Brand identity development
Phase 3: Brand launch and
introduction – communicating the
Phase 4: Brand implementation
Phase 5: Monitoring, evaluation and
Morgan and Pritchard, 2002, pp. 26-30
Brand Identity Development
The Destination Brand Benefit Pyramid
Developing the Brand Architecture
Identifying Brand Drivers
The Destination Brand
Benefit Pyramid
Level 5
Level 4
Level 3
Level 2
Level 1
What is the essential nature
and character of the brand?
What does value mean
for the typical repeat visitor?
What psychological
rewards or emotional
benefits do people get by
visiting this destination?
What benefits to the visitor result from
the destination’s features?
What are the tangible, verifiable, objective,
measurable characteristics of the destination?
Developing the Brand Architecture
What is the “core personality” of our area
as a visitor destination?
What positive images do visitors have of
of our area?
What positive images do residents have
of our area?
What positive images do industry
partners have of our area?
Developing the Brand Architecture
What are the words or phrases that best
describe us?
What symbols or key images are
associated with our destination?
What concepts, ideas, events, and
people are associated with our
What do we have that no-one else has?
What Are Our Brand Drivers?
 Brand drivers are the essence of a
place – the destination’s unique and
own-able qualities that make it
different from other places.
Walter Landor, Landor Associates, San Francisco as quoted in:
“More than a logo: Building a brand identity” by Kathleen
Cassedy, HSMAI Marketing Review, Summer 2001
Brand Architecture
Land of fire and
Rugged, unspoilt,
Dramatic scenery.
Romantic history,
heritage, and
folklore. Warm and
feisty people.
Brand Architecture
I feel in awe of the
elements in
Scotland. I feel
embraced by the
warmth of the
Warm. Mysterious.
Rugged. Feisty.
Implications for CVBs
Destination Branding Implications
A CVB must:
Determine visitor (leisure and business)
images and perceptions.
Develop a positioning approach and
Design the brand identity to support
positioning with input and support of all
Implement and invest in the brand over
the long term.
Monitor and evaluate the brand’s
Missouri Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus
Annual Meeting
June 10, 2002
Questions & Answers