Online from: 2008
Subject Area: Built Environment
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|Title:||Aligning business owners for a successful downtown brand|
|Author(s):||Jay Sang Ryu, (School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA), Jane Swinney, (Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)|
|Citation:||Jay Sang Ryu, Jane Swinney, (2012) "Aligning business owners for a successful downtown brand", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 5 Iss: 2, pp.102 - 118|
|Keywords:||Brands, Communication, Downtown branding, Internal branding, Internal communication, Small business, United States of America|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/17538331211249983 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – Although place branding has been practiced for many years, limited studies have examined its impacts on economic performance from business owners' perspectives. The purpose of this study is to explore the causal relationships between the internal branding of business owners and the external perception of downtown and business performance.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 167 downtown business owners of small communities in a Midwestern state in the USA. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to evaluate reliability and validity of the measurement model, and structural equation modeling was used to test the proposed hypotheses and research model.
Findings – The findings suggest that internal communication about downtown branding increased business owners' downtown brand congruence (internal branding) and in turn downtown commitment. Positive links from business owners' downtown commitment to their perception of downtown performance and individual business performance were also identified.
Practical implications – This study expands the scope of place branding with the perspectives of small communities' business owners. The findings suggest that “branding the downtown” may be an effective strategy to revitalize their downtown. Internal communication about downtown branding could encourage business owners to be integral parts of this strategy.
Originality/value – This study is unique in investigating place branding and internal branding quantitatively from the context of the business owner operating in the downtown.
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