UK hotel industry brand equity : Its meaning and uses for brand management.

BAILEY, Rob. (2007). UK hotel industry brand equity : Its meaning and uses for brand management. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Brand equity has been put forward as an important concept in contemporary brand management. However, it suffers from a lack of agreement over its meaning and uses. A particular lack of clarity exists within the context of the hotel industry. Against this backdrop, the research presented in this thesis sought to explore and evaluate critically the meaning and uses of the brand equity concept in UK hotel industry brand management. The literature review identified a variety of different definitions and operationalisations of brand equity. Even though there are multiple definitions of brand equity (which has led to much confusion), an overriding principle appears to be that brands, through the benefits they offer, can provide value to consumers. If brands provide value to consumers, loyalty will be created and consumers may be willing to pay a price premium for the brand. Brand equity has been viewed from both the consumer perspective (e.g., perceptions that consumers have of brands, and how this influences behaviour), and from the company viewpoint (e.g., the financial value created by the brand). Whilst the hotel industry branding and brand equity literature is limited to a small number of empirical research studies, the available evidence suggests a relationship between consumer-based brand equity and a brand's financial performance. During the literature review, a conceptual framework was developed to illustrate proposed concepts and potential relationships between the stages integral to strategic brand management in the hotel industry. The framework also provided the direction and structure for the empirical research stages of the study.In order to gain a deeper understanding of the meanings and uses of hotel industry brand equity, two stages of empirical research were completed. The purpose of the empirical research was to investigate the interpretations which senior UK hotel industry practitioners gave in relation to different aspects of branding and brand equity management and measurement. The research focused on meanings attributed to the concepts, potential uses and operational challenges. The first stage of empirical research involved an open-ended questionnaire completed by a sample of 11 senior hotel industry management consultants.The second stage involved a qualitative case study which was used to explore, in some depth, the hotel industry brand equity concept. The subject of the case study was Thistle Hotels; one of the UK's largest brand-owning hotel companies. Multiple methods were utilised during the case study, including in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 12 of Thistle's senior managers, and reviews of relevant corporate documents. This study's findings indicate that brand equity can be a useful concept for UK hotel industry brand management, although there is evidence to suggest that the concept has yet to be commonly-accepted in the UK hotel industry. This study forged a new multi-faceted definition and operationalisation of brand equity that can be used by hotel companies to build and manage the performance of their brands. The study posits that hotel brand value can be measured using a range of attitudinal and behavioural measures that seek to investigate consumer perceptions and behaviour towards hotel brands, and measures intended to capture operational and financial performance. This study makes an original contribution to knowledge in a number of areas including the following: it has created new definitions of the hotel brand equity concept and the core hotel brand concept; and a Hotel Industry Brand Equity Management Framework has been developed to assist hotel companies better manage the equity of their brands. This framework also provides an agenda for necessary future research that will further develop the findings and conclusions from this study and enhance the development of hotel brand equity theory.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Ball, Stephen
Thesis advisor - Nield, Kevin
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2007.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:37

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