Giving Brand Image to a Nation: A Proposed Framework

Giving Brand Image to a Nation: A Proposed Framework

Bintang Handayani (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia) and Basri Rashid (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8699-1.ch018
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Abstract

Adapting Keller's brand image theory (1993), this paper presents an exploratory framework for giving brand image to a nation. Utilizing unstructured interviews, the result suggests that tourism and hospitality attributes can be used for giving brand image to a nation and behavioral intention. Specifically, the result denotes that the perceived brand image of a nation is formed according to tourists' cognitive and affective beliefs, which at the end; influence the action to recommend to others and/or for repeat visitation. In addition, the “pretentious” nation brand campaign and national identity found in this exploratory study should be focused upon as variables for further research and testing the framework.
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Introduction

Of the national dimensions that give brand image to a nation, product-country image (export dimension) and tourism and hospitality industry are found to be the strongest ones (Porter, 1990; O'Shaughnessy & O'Shaughnessy, 2000; Kotler and Gertner, 2002; Olins, 2002; Gilmore, 2002; Anholt, 2002, 2007; Fan, 2006; Dinnie, 2008). However, as it is more likely that international tourists associate their experiences (directly or indirectly) interacting with the people and the culture of a nation (Fan, 2006), it is deemed appropriate to propose tourism and hospitality attributes as the major brand image dimensions. Tourism and hospitality as an industry not only attracts tourists and stimulates other national dimensions, but is also able to generate brand image of a nation (Brooks, 2004; Lee and Lockshin, 2012; Qu et al., 2011; Prayag, 2009; Prayag, 2010; Anholt, 2000).

According to Newman (1957), brand image consists of everything that people associate with the brand. In addition, a strong brand image implies identification, quality assurance and reduced psychological risk (Berthon et al., 1999). In this study, a nation’s name is the brand. In this sense, what the foreigners think about a nation’s name is considered as a subset of brand image. In addition, Keller’s brand image theory (1993, 2003) points out that brand associations are derived from its types, favourability, strength and uniqueness as elements that form brand image. Consequently, when a set of brand associations exist and grow stronger in the international tourists’ minds, it gives brand image to a nation. A positive and strong nation brand image implies the level of international public attitude towards the nation’s name and implies its positioning. Therefore, a nation that has a brand image has more potential to be the market leader in a certain category (O'Shaughnessy & O'Shaughnessy, 2000; Kotler and Gertner, 2002; Olins, 2002; Gilmore, 2002; Anholt, 2002, 2007; Dinnie, 2008).

Another issue is that in spite of the fact that several studies have acknowledged the potency of tourism and hospitality industry as a front-door to other national dimensions, studies that have integrated these two variables seem to be limited. In this sense, it is deemed appropriate to conduct an exploratory study (Gilmore, 2002; Anholt, 2002; Brooks, 2004; Nadeau et al., 2008; Lee and Lockshin, 2012; Qu et al., 2011; Prayag, 2009; Prayag, 2010). Therefore, this study aims to explore the possibility of giving brand image to a nation and to propose a framework of tourism and hospitality attributes as a nation brand image formation.

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