Shopping centres as place brands
It is becoming more common for places to apply brand strategies in order to assist economic and social development. As a relative new domain, place branding has borrowed theory and applications from corporate marketing and branding. Also, it is recognised that different units of place exist with each having varying structures, interconnections and levels of control when it comes to place branding. One unit of place which has higher stakeholder control is a shopping mall. This paper provides a background to branding and place branding, a discussion of units of place and the various 'scapes', followed by discussion as to the appropriateness of applying a brand management framework to shopping malls. As a preliminary investigation, the brand system developed by Kapferer (20 I 0) was used to guide an assessment of two shopping malls in Dubai, being The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. Websites and promotional matelial, aided by visits to each Mall, allowed for an assessment as to the relevance of the brand system for each of the malls. It was concluded that, even by default, both Malls were complying with palts of the brand system and if applied correctly could be of value to both managers and customers of shopping malls. This work has moti vated the researchers to seek feedback from academics and practitioners and most likely undertake a more detailed study into the use and relevance of brand management techniques to shopping malls.
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