This master’s thesis aims to analyse how shopping centres can differentiate their brand from competitors through experiential branding. The master’s thesis focuses on the case of Fisketorvet – Copenhagen Mall, which is owned by Unibail-Rodamco. Unibail-Rodamco has developed a 4-star labelling system, which ensures that their shopping centres comply with several criteria regarding their service quality. However, a competitive analysis of the market revealed that there is intense rivalry amongst competing shopping centres in Denmark due to their relatively homogenous brands that have similar retail assortments. To differentiate themselves, this master’s thesis proposes that shopping centres focus on experience branding. Researchers within branding argue that there is a growing trend towards the creation of brand experiences, and that these experiences result in increased brand value (Kapferer, 2012; Millward Brown, 2014). According to Pine II & Gilmore (1999) a brand experience is a memorable event that engages customers through a theme that stimulates their five senses, and allows them to emotionally connect with the brand. To discover the extent to which Fisketorvet currently adopt a experiential branding strategy, Fisketorvets brand platform was analysed, including their brand identity using Kapferer’s brand identity prism (2012) and their positioning. Thereafter, survey data from 85 respondents was analysed to identify consumer perceptions of their brand. The analysis found that 40% of consumers have a negative attitude towards the brand and perceive the brand image as materialistic, ugly and of low quality. Consequently, their communicated 4-star quality is not aligned with the perception of consumers. Furthermore, analysis of Facebook post engagement revealed that consumers are engaging more with posts that include information regarding the retailers within the mall rather than, for instance, posts about events organised by Fisketorvet. The survey data also revealed a low interest in events at shopping centres, in general, but that charity events appeal most to the respondents. This is consistent with trends within consumer research that found that, particularly the millennial generation, have a stronger connection with brands that communicate a cause (Millward Brown, 2014). Consequently, findings suggest that to differentiate themselves Fisketorvet should develop experiences that focus on a cause that engages both retailers, who are brand ambassadors, and customers. Furthermore, to develop a relationship with the local community of Copenhagen, the shopping centres should create brand experiences inside and outside their shopping centre, as localisation is a growing trend in branding (Millward Brown, 2014) the cause should also be local. Successful experience branding will result in a differentiated brand experience that delights customers to the extent that their brand image improves and they engage in positive word-of-mouth.
|Uddannelser||Cand.soc.sm Service Management, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|