The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research
Destination branding has risen in popularity since place branding has proven beneficial for states, cities, and countries looking to position themselves away from competition. In 1999, nonresident visitors to Montana were segmented based on what attracted them to the state and compared against one another resulting in the article “Branding a state from features to positioning: Making it simple” in the Journal of Vacation Marketing. Since then, a statewide branding initiative was developed and implemented providing the state with a cohesive message for stakeholders. This study revisits the segmentation process from pre-brand visitors with those who recently traveled to the state. Modified or added variables between 1999 and 2013 make direct comparisons difficult but still produced useful information. Results indicate that post-brand visitors to the state spend a significantly higher amount of money and spend more nights than prior to the branding initiative. Furthermore, there are significant differences in trip planning and demographics between post-brand segments. Marketing implications are discussed.
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