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Turki Shoaib and Ramin Keivani
This study aims to explore the development of a new city brand in Saudi Arabia. Place Branding theory is geared towards existing places and does not take into account…
This study aims to explore the development of a new city brand in Saudi Arabia. Place Branding theory is geared towards existing places and does not take into account newly developed cities. Here “Place Branding” takes on a new significance. How do we develop a brand for a city that does not yet exist? Who are the actors involved and how do they influence the process?
The study uses discourse analysis to investigate the interplay between actors and place brand development in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) for two separate branding scenarios. It is further structured through the theoretical lens of actor-network theory (ANT) to take advantage of relational aspects that can lend insight on how a brand is created and enacted.
Initial findings suggest that branding messages in KAEC are fragmented with little government or other stakeholder involvement leading to poor brand awareness and performance. The study also emphasises the importance of branding practices in the beginning stages of new city development. It further suggests that the message itself, the conceptual place brand, can represent a socially constructed idea or belief that can shape perceptions about the project before physical form is developed.
The case study in Saudi Arabia will highlight the opportunities and pitfalls associated with place branding in the Middle East while comparing the findings with traditional place-branding approaches in existing cities. By contextualizing discourse analysis research within an ANT-based exploration of the KAEC brand’s gestation in Saudi Arabia, the study highlights the meaningfulness of a place brand construct in the process of city creation.
Magdalena Florek and Massimo Giovanardi
Shoaib Ul-Haq, Irfan Butt, Zeeshan Ahmed and Faris Turki Al-Said
Islam plays a powerful symbolic and cultural role in the constitution of consumer preferences, especially in Muslim countries. To quantitatively study this role in the…
Islam plays a powerful symbolic and cultural role in the constitution of consumer preferences, especially in Muslim countries. To quantitatively study this role in the consumption patterns of Muslim consumers we need a suitable scale for religiosity. However, the existing scales of religiosity have been developed primarily for Christian/Jewish respondents and cannot provide valid results for Muslim consumers. This study aims to address these challenges by re-conceptualizing the religiosity construct for Muslims and conducting an exploratory study to generate an initial scale.
This paper initialized the scale development exercise with a systematic review of the existing Islamic literature to ensure that we use Islamic categories to build the scale. Once the authors had a large pool of items, they consulted experts on Shariah (Islamic law) to evaluate these items for clarity, face and content validity. Next, they conducted five focus groups to (a) determine if they had covered the full terrain of Muslim religiosity; (b) identify if the items correspond with the actual experiences of the target respondents; and (c) ensure linguistic compatibility. This was followed by administering an exploratory survey designed to test psychometric properties of the new scale and to analyze the underlying dimensionality of the inventory of items.
To extract a manageable number of latent dimensions in the survey data, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) procedure was conducted. This resulted in the extraction of five different factors which were named as Mu’amalat_societal ethics, Roshan Khayali (enlightened moderation), Ibadaat (prayers), Mu’amalat_societal laws, Azeemat (a state exhibiting scrupulous faithfulness) and Mu’amalat_business dealings. There is a divide between Ibadaat (individual and collective worship) and Muamlaat (social relations) that emerged in the data from the cluster analysis procedure.
Religion can be an important part of decision-making of a typical consumer. This paper proposes a new scale for Muslims to tap into their religiosity, as existing scales are not embedded in the Islamic literature. This study also distinguishes Muslim religiosity from its Western counterpart and thus helps in clarifying the Muslim religiosity construct.