The purpose of the paper is to examine the service branding process of the historic tourist attraction, the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (Hurtigruten).
A qualitative design guided the research and the research instrument employed was semi-structured in-depth interviews with service employees employed in the shipping line Hurtigruten ASA.
The research shows that the long history of the Hurtigruten, the role of leadership and culture, organising principles and analytical orientation were influential factors to the branding process on the Hurtigruten and that determined the key characteristics of the process, that of a structured process.
Although, the study is innovative in its orientation, the research findings are restricted to the research context: on the Hurtigruten. However, the inductive approach makes it possible to conduct follow-up studies including more cruise line carriers.
A set of advices is provided which is beneficial in making the Hurtigruten an even stronger brand. One advice is to develop brand messages to be used in market communication which is built on attractive values to tourists such as Norwegian sea man skills, safety, reliability, comfort and exoticness.
One important social implication is the suggestion to integrate the service employees in branding processes which may have consequences for employees’ brand commitment and loyalty.
In the research literature, more research on services branding is called for. Thus, the study contributes to the extant knowledge on an interesting research field and the value of the study lies in its in-depth exploration of an important management process, that of services branding.
Skaalsvik, H. and Olsen, B. (2014), "A study of a service brand process in a cruise context: the perspective of the service employees", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 446-461. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-10-2013-0078Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited