Nation Branding in A Transnational Marketing Context: Serbia’s Brand Positioning Through Food and Wine
Keywords:Serbia, nation branding, transnational marketing, cultural routes, gastronomy, food tourism
Food and gastronomic values of a country are distinguished assets in marketing places. The aim of this article is exploring the ways in which Serbia rebrands itself through promoting the local food and culture and positions the nation brand in a transnational marketing context. The key concepts for this research originate from the literature in place marketing and branding. The gastronomic offer is an instrument shaping people’s perceptions about Serbia that is represented and communicated through values, narratives and manifestations. Accordingly, semiotics is adopted for analysing the data, which builds on three levels: axiological, narrative and discursive. Content analysis is used as a supportive method to infer meanings from codes and to determine emerging themes overarching the units of meaning. The tourism marketing strategy of The National Tourism Organization of Serbia (TOS) is closely examined through the touristic promotion materials (i.e. catalogues, posters, Soul Food video). In sum, the analysis results reveal how the country branding strategy of Serbia is handled in terms of the impact on the perceptions with a focus on food as a tourist attraction. The research is valuable for place-marketers, strategists, governments, and scholars from different fields of academia.
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