Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 210

CINEMA, DESTINATION IMAGE & PLACE BRANDING 3.2. Construction of Travel Agent-specific Brand Equities is a Must Travel agents and accommodation facilities have their respective roles, and they need to cooperate to create a trip as a whole. A trip is a composite action including transportation, accommodation or meals. It is impossible to commer- cialize travels by airline companies or accommodation facilities alone. While it needs to be discussed whether business trips are to be included in travel com- modities, travel agents are the only entities which can create travel commodities. However, whether they are fully engaged in this task is to be questioned. 3.3. Private Brands and National Brands Private brands are currently given priority to when compared to national brands when considering various kinds of product distribution. For example, it is considered that companies such as UNIQLO, Seven Eleven and Amazon are receiv- ing support of consumers since their company images are superior to those of man- ufacturers. UNIQLO represents its products itself with its unique sales strategies, and consumers do neither make much of nor even know its producer. Seven Eleven has set forth its “Golden series” as its sales strategies and has succeeded over national brands, that is, by challenging manufacturers. Amazon is also prevailing over manufactures in the point in that Amazon as a distributer is responsible of products. While private brands of distributers are currently closer to consumers rather than national brands of producers, travel commodities have not made the turn, and airline companies are prevailing over travel agents as distributers. 4. Necessities of Reconstructing Strategies of Travel Agents 4.1. Brand Strategies of Travel Agents Some challenges have been made of branding travel agents. The US online agent “Expedia” which has launched into business in Japan offers best price guar- antees 8 . This is a style of branding strategies. The company strongly appeals its hotel prices to consumers for capturing them. H.I.S. has expanded business based on its “low cost” images ever since its constitution, and brand image strategies have turned out to be effective to some extent. However, many travel agents have not succeeded in establishing particular features with respect to airline companies or accommo- dation facilities as suppliers, and even JTB, the largest in the industry, has only set forth abstract images by expressions such as “interchanging cultures” or “next to 210 return to the content page