Triangulating Online Brand Reputation, Brand Image, and Brand Identity: An Interdisciplinary Research Approach to Design the Pathways of Online Branding Strategies in Luxury Hospitality
Online Reputation Management in Destination and Hospitality
ISBN: 978-1-80382-376-8, eISBN: 978-1-80382-375-1
Publication date: 9 February 2023
The chapter proposes to investigate online reputation of hospitality brands and its measurements. Brand reputation is generally defined as an overall appraisal of a company by its stakeholders, which is the result of the company's past actions and predictions about the company's future (Ferguson, Deephouse, & Ferguson, 2000). Being viewed as the opinion shared among a group of stakeholders (Dowling, 2008), it plays an important role in the tourism industry. With the progress of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), reviews and user-generated contents of destinations and of hospitality companies together with the related emerging brand reputation can influence consumers' behaviors and choices. Brand reputation analysis could be more useful in the hospitality brand management when integrated with brand image and brand identity analysis, mainly because in tourism businesses and destinations, brands are typically affected by an inherent fragility determined by the service nature of products (Casarin, 1996). According to Biel (1991), the meanings that consumers assign to a brand are synthesized into brand associations formed by the components perceived to underlie the brand's image. As well as brand reputation, strong, positive and unique associations reinforce a brand and increase its equity that requires significant internal brand identity efforts, which should create a corresponding brand image through integration in overall marketing programmes (Keller, 2003). It makes sense to develop an analytical research approach that compares online brand reputation (OBR) with brand association matching as a measure of the alignment between brand identity and brand image in hospitality companies. This comparative analysis emerging from brand reputation, brand image and brand identity analysis can reveal divergent situations (i.e., high brand reputation and low brand association matching) and orient brand managers in reviewing online brand communication. Brand reputation and brand image analysis will be contextualized in an online community as a social setting that is considered to be a new type of market (Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001). We focus on hospitality online communities populated by consumers and other actors such as influencers and bloggers: their brand perception could be separately compared with brand identity that we will extract from company communications including presentational information and brand-related press releases found on websites, nonfinancial narrative from annual reports, and interviews with managers published in mainstream media sources. In our analysis we will focalize on a cluster of luxury hospitality companies integrating a netnographic and text-mining techniques. We will use both the techniques in order to (1) extract and study brand associations in terms of brand reputation, brand image, and brand identity; (2) develop indicators of brand reputation and brand association matching; and (3) discuss their utility in the management of the hospitality company brands.
Ranfagni, S. and Rosati, M. (2023), "Triangulating Online Brand Reputation, Brand Image, and Brand Identity: An Interdisciplinary Research Approach to Design the Pathways of Online Branding Strategies in Luxury Hospitality", Rialti, R., Kvítková, Z. and Makovník, T. (Ed.) Online Reputation Management in Destination and Hospitality, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 213-235. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80382-375-120231012
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2023 Silvia Ranfagni and Massimo Rosati. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited