Branding dilemma: the case of branding Hyderabad city
Hyderabad City today is a blend of metro and heritage causing much dilemma to what it offers the visitors. A mixture of the “Nawabi – the good old days city” and “information technology hub – a new metropolitan city,” has changed the perception of the city. This has blurred the vision of positioning the city. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the existing city image and the execution of a clear brand message in the face of ambiguous essence of the place.Design/methodology/approachThe exploratory case study was divided into two parts. In the first stage of the study, an in-depth interview was conducted on tour operators, hotels and hospitality managers, tourists and residents. In the second stage of the study, the review text was scrapped from TripAdvisor. Further text collocate, linked analysis and word trees were done on reviews of Hyderabad city using Voyant tools to find the core attributes of the city image.FindingsThe finding indicates that the city branding is diluted with a blended essence of heritage and metropolis, making the positioning of the city ambiguous. Moreover, the findings reveal that the blend of the two dichotomous characteristics of the city can study out through the implementation of the dual branding and story narration of the city.Research limitations/implicationsThe study is no short of limitations, as it is a case-based, subjectivity is inevitable, the selection of the respondents for the interviews was on convenience-based. The number of interviewees for the study is limited thus cannot be generalized. In addition, another limitation of the study is that only few reviews on Hyderabad city were found on TripAdvisor not enough to sustain more elaborated results and, as the reviews were basically from tourists, further there may be some elimination of other important aspects of the city. Text analysis has its own limitation such as it cannot track sarcasm or identify the spelling errors or synonymous. Despite the limitations, the study attempts to shed some light on the city’s needs to rebranding.Practical implicationsOne of the important contributions of the study is its implications, for tour operators and policymakers. For the former, the need to communicate and position the brand and develop a strategy that bridges the gap between heritage image and metropolis. In addition, for the later, for setting the national urban policies that conserve the heritage sites and improvise the management.Social implicationsTo conserve the culture, tradition and heritage sites in the impetus of the city’s phenomenal urbanization and development.Originality/valueCity as a brand is complex, the present research brings out the complexity based on the essence of the city bridging the gap through an insightful approach. Expanding the body of knowledge, at the same time providing insightful implications for destination stakeholders such as managers, policymakers and destination management organizations.