Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the structural relationships between the brand equity (BE) dimensions, when the fifth dimension of cultural brand assets is incorporated. The paper seeks to establish and validate a five‐dimensional BE measure for cultural urban destination, by comparing findings in two destinations. Design/methodology/approach – The structural model was tested from the perspective of 399 international tourists visiting Athens. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling analysis are used to test and validate an integrated BE model for cultural destinations. Findings are compared with respective ones in the case of Rome. Findings – Findings reveal the significance of cultural brand assets for the BE of cultural urban destinations. Further, the study provides useful insight into the theory of reasoned action by investigating the structural relationships developed between BE dimensions and their impact on loyalty. Research limitations/implications – The study argues that the summative valence of associations, as described in the theory of reasoned action, can be applied in the case of a cultural destination as well. Research directions, including additional place brand dimensions, additional destinations, stakeholders groups or multi‐group analysis, are advised to verify and generalise the application of the five‐dimensional BE model. Practical implications – Findings reveal those cultural brand assets which can help practitioners build up coherent and successful proprietary brand assets. Quality is a necessary pre‐requisite to enhance loyalty. In the case of Athens, associations influence only indirect loyalty through their impact on quality. Originality/value – This study offers to the limited literature concerning structural relationships developed among all five BE dimensions and consumer decision‐making models in a tourism context. Moreover, the study contributes to the under‐researched dimension of cultural brand assets.
Journal of Place Management and Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 8, 2014
Keywords: Brand equity; Culture; Destination branding; Structural model; Athens
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