Internal brand management of destination brands: Exploring the roles of destination management organisations and operators
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Achieving a consistent brand experience across a destination and all brand-touch points is a major challenge in destination branding efforts. Strategies to manage the complexity of coordination across multiple network stakeholders are therefore critical for destination management organisations. How- ever, theories to inform these strategies are limited. This paper proposes that internal brand manage- ment theory provides a framework to explore strategies that may increase operator buy-in to the destination brand, thus creating a more consistent brand experience for visitors. Semi-structured interviews with members of a destination brand network indicate that highly centralised networks hinder operator buy-in to the destination brand. Informal communication via more personalised sub- networks rather than directive leadership appear to facilitate knowledge sharing and create support mechanisms that promote brand citizenship behaviours. This study advances destination brand manage- ment theory and provides practical insights into destination brand management practices.
Journal of Destination Marketing & Management