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E-Branding in the Swiss hotel industry

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This research studies the evolution of traditional branding to e-branding within the context of the Swiss hotel industry. From a study of the database of 2448 hotels in Switzerland, this research explored the various domain names in use among them. This is based on several criteria such as: registration date, area (township), language, tourist areas, general situation and the quality of the domain name. In this document, we have tried to define the general factors that influence the quality of a domain name in the Swiss hotel industry.

Business historians agree that the phenomenon of branding itself is over 100 years old, with the majority of countries having trademark acts to establish the legality of a protected asset from 1890 (Rooney 1995; The Economist 1988). The years from 1800 through 1925 was known as the richest period of name-giving (Rooney 1995; Hambleton, 1987). From these beginnings, branding has evolved as a major component of marketing strategy. Its uses and applications continue to grow and diversify.

Although the focus of branding has shifted over the last two decades, its importance to the business community and the consumer has not diminished (Rooney 1995). In his book, ?Great American Brands', Cleary (1981) writes that without trademark brands, there would be no trustworthy marketplace and no sure, simple way to know what to reach for and what to avoid.

Many feel that the development of new mega brands would be impossible in the future and money would be better spent on acquisitions than on research and development (Rooney 1995). The fact that 90-95% of all new products failed strengthened the argument that takeovers made more sense than trying to develop new successful brands (Dagnoli, 1990; The Economist, 1988; Rooney 1995).

A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design, or any combination of these concepts, used to identify the goods and services of a seller (Bennett, 1988; Turley, Moore, Patrick 1995). Despite the formal definition, the purpose of branding is essentially to build the product's image (Cleary, 1981; Rooney 1995). Ginden (1993) underlines that the point of a name is to have consumers link it to quality.

A brand is the commercial value of the trust between a company and a customer (Morgan and Pritchard, 2000; Nassar, Jones, Morgan), which is true in the sense that a brand name is a promise to the customer of a certain level of product quality and service execution (Muller 98).

To many, a brand suggests the best choice (Ginden, 1993; Rooney 1995).Brands introduce stability into businesses, help guard against competitive imitation, and allow consumers to shop with confidence in an increasingly complex world (Aaker, 1991; Tepeci 1999).

Once customers have made a decision about a brand and its associations, they are often loyal to that brand, continue to buy it in the future, recommend it to friends, and choose the product over others, even those with better features or lower prices (Assael, 1991; Tepeci 1999). Choosing a brand name for a consumer product or service is so critical that some writers argue it is one of the most important marketing management decisions (Landler, Schiller, Therrien 1991; Turley Moore, 1995).

Tags: E-Branding in the Swiss hotel industry, branding strategy, ?Great American Brands'

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