Branding Shopping Centres: A Conceptual Model of Sub-Branded Precincts
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The term marketing is increasingly recognised as being synonymous with the term branding. The emphasis on creating unique brands is a decisive development in the evolution of planned shopping centres. Mall operators such as Westfield are pioneering the way in the practice of branding malls. Despite the interest from shopping centre developers to build meaningful mall brands, branding shopping centres is an underdeveloped area of literature, in contrast to product branding literature and more recently, retailer branding. While research has considered shopping centre branding from the viewpoint of image and attractiveness attributes, this paper examines a new perspective of branding within shopping centres, which is derived from the practice of shopping centre operators to cluster similar retailers into shopping ‘precincts’. For example, food retailers could be grouped and marketed as a “Food Hall” precinct. These shopping precincts often assume unique sub-brands, which exist within the bigger picture of the shopping centre brand. Drawing on branding and tenant mix literature, this paper argues that a key determinant of the shopping centre brand is the strategic marketing of a collection of sub-branded precincts. Furthermore, it is argued that the tool for managing multiple retailers within these precincts lies in the use of category management literature, traditionally developed with a product focus. A conceptual model of mall and precinct branding is presented which outlines potential relationships between the shopping mall brand, the tenant mix and individual retailers.
ANZMAC 2004 Marketing Accoutnabilities and Responsibilities
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