The purpose of this study is to add new insights into the discussion of how a city’s destination marketing organization (DMO) can apply operand resources to act upon its operant resources to create, market and manage a unique brand over time.
This study uses an abductive approach to advance understanding of how to execute a branding strategy that evolves over time while strategically curating its unique and valued resources. This understanding is based on an in-depth review of Louisville’s branding journey, including written documents and interviews with people involved in building the branding strategy.
This paper presents a model to help destinations focus on how to create, market and manage the delivery of a branded ecosystem that capitalizes on its resources. This study adds new insights into how DMOs can curate a destination’s resources into an ecosystem that delivers its brand promise over time.
This study introduces the idea of ecotopes to expand an understanding of tourism ecosystems, presents the concept of a customer journey to depict a destination’s branding strategy, incorporates Barney's resource based theory (Barney and Clark, 2007) into the process of creating a destination’s brand and applies Barnard’s (1938) classic acceptance theory of authority to explain how DMOs can execute a destination’s branding strategy.
This research did not receive any funding from agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Ford, R.C., Bowen, J.T. and Yates, S. (2022), "Executing a destination branding strategy: Louisville Tourism’s Urban Bourbon Trail", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-06-2022-0163
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