One Clear Image? Challenging Simplicity in Place Branding

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Unique selling points! Simplicity sells! One clear identity! One clear image! These are some of the place branding mantras of today. In this paper, this "simplicity trend" is critically examined and challenged by raising the question whether clear images and simplicity are truly the only options in destination branding. After a short introduction and discussion of the underlying assumptions of destination branding strategy, an illustrative case is used to demonstrate how tourism stakeholders create several different "versions" of the tourist destination through a multiplicity of discursive, performative and socio-material practices at the tourist destination. Based on these findings, place marketers are encouraged to embrace and benefit from the multiple destination rather than seeking to reduce its multiplicity. It is argued that diversity branding might actually be deployed, strategically, in order to create more refined points of difference rooted in a richer and more complex understanding of destination identity(ies) and image(s).
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)416-434
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 2011