Destination Brands in the Digital Age: The Perception of a Destination Brand and Targeting of the Millennial Generation Through the Use of Social Media: A case study of Norway

Katharina Reissenweber & Marit Kristiansen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore how millennials’ perception of a destination brand can be influenced by the content shared of and by destinations on social media. The research also investigates how millennials might be reached through their active online presence. Additionally, through the insights gathered from the case study of Norway’s destination brand, we provide recommendations for other destination marketing organisations and expand on the existing destination branding literature. This thesis moves from the foundation of traditional branding, destination branding, consumer behaviour and social media to outlining the research methods. The collected data is based on a pragmatic approach and formulated around the netnographic research process. Interviews, a netnographic analysis and a questionnaire were conducted to gain deeper insight into the topics, answer the research question and to support our recommendations. The main findings with relation to the brand of Norway are generalised by the formulation of five suggestions for destination brand managers wanting to target millennial consumers. These recommendations are; 1. to target consumers based on their motivation to travel instead of focusing on age groups; 2. to create alignment of the F.A.M.M. model presented, which combines features of a destination, associations, destination specific motivation and general travel motivation; 3. to consider communication channels carefully in terms of relevant content and platforms; 4. to manage the strategic fit of brand architecture according to the particular needs of a country and 5. to be aware of destination specific challenges that could impact branding efforts.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages131
SupervisorsTilde Heding