Emoticons are not for everyone: The role of congruence between hotel brand positioning strategies and communication style in enhancing customers’ brand attitude and booking intention

Sabrina M. Hegner*, Carlotta Lotze, Ardion Daroca Beldad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Social media has become an influential communication channel, and brands are increasingly using an informal style in their social media communication. Nonetheless, despite this development, little research has addressed the influence of social media communication style on brand perceptions. Hence, this study addresses the question on how the interaction of employing different communication styles and different hotel positioning strategies affects consumers’ perceptions and booking intentions in the hotel industry. Additionally, this study explores whether the fit between communication style and hotel positioning mediates the relationship on brand attitude and booking intention. A 2x2 between-subjects full-factorial design with 336 participants was conducted. Results of the experiment show that an informal communication style can be harmful for a utilitarian positioned hotel. A perception of fit between brand positioning and communication style leads to a more favorable brand attitude and higher booking intention. Despite the tendency for brands to increasingly use an informal style in their social media communication, only little research has analyzed the impact of communication style on consumer perceptions. Furthermore, considering a hotel’s positioning represents an important moderator in this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • brand positioning
  • Communication style
  • consumer attitude
  • experiment
  • structural equation model

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