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Ski Resort Brands Are Built Through Competencies

Teemu Moilanen will defend his marketing related doctoral dissertation, “Network Brand Management. A Study of Competencies of Ski Destination Branding in US, Australia and Finland” at the Helsinki School of Economics on Friday, April 18, 2008.

The traditions of brand philosophy lie deep in the world of marketing physical consumer products. Location branding is a new application area in brand philosophy.

In the past decade, countries, cities, and holiday resorts have tried to use brand philosophy to attract investments, travelers, and skilled labor. Although models and methods used in the branding of physical products work in that context, their application in location branding has turned out to be challenging.

A Location Brand is Made up of Several Entities

A location brand is not a brand owned by only one company or represented by just one product but rather an entity created and maintained by several independent businesses or other interested parties. A customer may believe that he is traveling to Levi for the weekend even though there is no single company called Levi. On the contrary, the service concept has been built by 150 independent businesses and other parties. When a brand is created in this manner with input coming from several different sources, it is referred to as a network brand within the context of this study. The same phenomenon can be seen, for example, in shopping centers and in airline industry alliances and their brands such as Oneworld and Star Alliance.

Moilanen looks at the competence requirements of brand leadership and management in business networks that have been formed with clear objectives. The purpose of the research is to show and model the modestly researched concept of network branding and define the competencies necessary for creating and maintaining network brands within the context of ski resorts.

The Success of a Network Brand Rests on Twelve Competencies

The study examines the top nine ski resort brands in the US, Australia, and Finland and how these brands are managed and governed. The results identify 34 qualities, which have been grouped into 12 different competencies. These competencies are said to be the corner stones for success in building a network brand in a ski resort environment. The results of the study offer information and brand development tools for representatives of the business community active in the field location marketing.

Leena Vuorenmaa | alfa
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