Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Marketing Chester Cathedral : developing a sacred brand
Author: Williams, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 0031
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Cathedrals do not really have a role in Britain's secular society, do they? Powerful socio­cultural pressures have forced religious suppliers, like Chester Cathedral, to innovate and to develop a tourism offering. Theoretically and empirically, cathedral studies have been dominated by tourism and quantitative strategies. Drawing on marketing scholarship, within the tight parameters of this interdisciplinary study, the thesis aims to challenge the status quo of cathedral studies. In particular, by using relevant branding principles as an illuminating framework, and theoretical tools from the sociology of religion and tourism, the aim is to qualitatively explore how end-users invest meaning in their 'visitor journeys/ Methodologically, the development of a spectrum/continuum of cathedral visitors, which was framed around the visitor journey, contributes to this area. Overall, the research is based upon interview and safari focus-group data. A broad range of actors were interviewed, including cathedral stakeholders, worshipping congregation, tourists and nonusers. The 'sacred brand', as it is developed in this thesis, highlights how visitors, irrespective of their background, creed and purpose of visit, are all able to connect with Chester Cathedral, in some form or another. Although the congregation, tourist and nonusers all use the Cathedral in different ways, the aesthetic value of the space often engendered a powerful emotional response, which was felt to be distinct from the mundane. This underlined the Cathedral's rich emotional economy, in which the sacred space seemed to resonate with visitors allowing them to invest their visitor journey with a deeper meaning than one would normally expect at a heritage site. The power of the sacred brand lies in these sources of significance, whether personal, religious, historical or socio-cultural. The thesis demonstrates the need to protect the Cathedral's legacy, and also, how secular societies still require 'sacred space'—although that space may not always be interested in 'religious' terms. Most broadly, there appears to be a need for an inclusive space that offers even the most ardent atheist sources of significance. As this thesis shows, cathedrals are well placed to provide this space and can be marketed accordingly, in order to meet both the commercial pressures and the need for a spiritual and a liturgical environment. To this end, the thesis also develops a particular method to be used in religious marketing and development of sacred brands.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available