Laura van Meer

Laura van Meer

Master in Tourism Destination Management dissertation by TDM student Laura van Meer (September, 2010).

As competition between destinations is increasing, differentiation becomes more important. Amsterdam was analyzed based on the implementation of brand personality in their city marketing, whereas the following goal was formulated for research purposes: ‘To analyze the implementation of brand personality in the city marketing of Amsterdam and to compare the brand personality components between the perspective of brand founders and culture representatives/inhabitants in order to conclude an existing or non-existing gap.  In addition, advice on implementation strategies for the use of brand personality on the basis of different perspectives will be formulated.’

Perspectives from a supplier perspective have been analyzed and compared to inhabitant perspectives, whereas brand components of the city marketing in relation to brand personality are touched upon. Moreover, the Brand Personality Scale has been applied and adapted according tot this research. The following research questions have been formulated:

  1. What is brand personality and how is this linked to destination branding?
  2. Who are the main stakeholders in this research and what is their involvement?
  3. What does the brand of Amsterdam contain and how is this implemented? (supply side)
  4. What brand personality is carried out by Amsterdam Partners and brand representatives?
  5. How is brand personality perceived by inhabitants and culture representatives in Amsterdam?
  6. Is there a gap between the perceived brand personality and the applied brand personality?
  7. What are possibilities to link the perceived brand personality to the destination brand?

The methods used for this research consist of secondary/desk research by academic articles and journals, brochures, local newspapers, the internet, databases from and outside NHTV, readers and documents obtained from interviewees, city marketing reports, literature regarding qualitative field research and several other documents. In regards to field research, the methods used are predominantly interviews with company representatives, surveys with residents and culture representatives and observation. A sample of 154 interviewees was collected to gain a truthful representation of every subgroup residing in Amsterdam. As an additional research a visual template was executed among 200 residents. Because every research is restricted to limitations, these should
also be taken in consideration while reading the report.

Firstly, an insight is given into the city marketing through the analysis of secondary sources. Secondly, brand personality is taken as a key component in this report, whereas the identified brand stakeholders have been analyzed upon their perspective towards the brand personality of Amsterdam, this in comparison to the perspective of inhabitants and culture representatives of the city. This comparison is, amongst other assets, set out by the framework of Jennifer Aaker’s Brand Personality Scale. Furthermore, city dimensions set out by brand founders have been analyzed and compared and in addition a visual template has been applied in order to detect the personality behind Amsterdam. It is found that the personalities from both perspectives differ. Indifferences exist in the intended commercial and innovative personality from the supplier perspective compared to the open minded, unique and diverse personality from an inhabitant perspective.

In general, recommendations are provided on conformity and cooperation with all stakeholders, especially inhabitants, more interaction and visualization, promoting tourism in other areas of Amsterdam, adaption of the Brand Personality Scale, executing more in-depth qualitative researchamong inhabitants, more emphasis on the authenticity of Amsterdam, and finally clarification of the key values and contents of the city marketing.

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