Bring back Robin Hood brand, says study

Nov 04, 2010

Shopping was the next most popular answer in the survey, carried out last month by researchers from Nottingham University Business School.

On a scale of zero to 10, Robin scored an average of 8.2 for visitors and 8.6 for locals in terms of the importance of his links to the city — and most agreed he was a "hero".

Yet tourism experts say neither Nottinghamshire nor Yorkshire, which stakes a rival claim to the legend, has made the most of Robin — despite fighting over his origins.

In fact, five years ago Nottingham infamously ditched him from its branding in favour of a controversial "slanty N" logo — designed at a cost of more than £100,000.

Study co-author Anita Fernandez Young, a lecturer in tourism management and marketing, said: "What we have in the case of Robin Hood is a brand without a product. We should recognise that Robin's name is known worldwide. Everyone is aware of the basic story and at least some of the characters and locations involved.

"And yet in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire — the places with which he's most widely associated— Robin seems to disappear a little more each year.

"He's the archetype of a hugely valuable cultural icon going to waste. It's as if we're so focused on embracing the modern that we're afraid to make the most of the past."

Robin made headlines around the world when Yorkshire's challenge to Nottinghamshire's claim went all the way to the Houses of Parliament in 2004.

David Hinchcliffe, the then MP for Wakefield, tabled a Commons motion citing "the lack of any factual basis" to Nottinghamshire's alleged links.

Research co-author Liz Crosland-Taylor said some people seemed reluctant to name a mythical figure as their "top of mind" image for Nottingham.

It could therefore be likely that the "Robin Hood effect" might be even higher than found in the study, she claimed.

She said: "Even though Robin is mythical, the focus group part of our research indicated visitors and locals alike expect to see visitor product aligned to the Robin Hood theme. The fact that Robin is a legend means the story and product can be constantly updated to maintain consumer interest.

"The news of the House of Commons challenge appeared all over the world. That gives us a very rough idea of the potential we're failing to tap.

"While our research showed a high level of satisfaction with the Nottingham experience, many visitors were disappointed with the Robin Hood dimension."

The DeHaan Institute, the School's tourism and travel research facility, carried out the study, collecting data from 185 visitors to Nottingham and 200 locals.

The research discovered 10 per cent of regional, 43 per cent of other UK and 70 per cent of international visitors were making their first trip to the city in at least a year.

Some 87 per cent of regional, 69 per cent of other UK and 50 per cent of international visitors said they were likely to return to the city within 12 months.

Professor Leo Jago, the Institute's Acting Director, said: "The fact that visitors and locals were united in associating Robin Hood with Nottingham shows his enduring value.

"As a recent arrival to the UK myself, I'm not surprised at the importance of Robin Hood for the city in the minds of international visitors. But I was taken aback that he was more frequently mentioned by locals than shopping and other activities.

"The city still almost unwittingly acknowledges his worth — even in the form of various street names — but our findings suggest there's so much more to be made of it.

"Now that we've seen the importance of Robin to the Nottingham brand, we're in the process of estimating his actual economic value to the city."

Explore further: Research examines an emerging issue: Treatment of transgendered prison populations

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Uncovering Nottingham's hidden medieval sandstone caves

May 13, 2010

The very latest laser technology combined with old fashioned pedal power is being used to provide a unique insight into the layout of Nottingham's sandstone caves — where the city's renowned medieval ale was brewed and, ...

Fighting back against business fraud

Mar 26, 2008

Smaller businesses are increasingly taking action to protect themselves against business fraud, according to an internet survey run by The University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI).

Helping back pain sufferers to stay in work

Feb 22, 2008

New research to be carried out at The University of Nottingham could have a major impact on the way that people struggling with low back pain are helped to stay in work.

Recommended for you

Study identifies why re-educating torturers may not work

4 hours ago

Many human rights educators assume – incorrectly, as it turns out – that police and military officers in India who support the torture of suspects do so because they are either immoral or ignorant. This ...

Research helps raise awareness of human trafficking

4 hours ago

Human trafficking –– or the control, ownership and sale of another human being for monetary gain –– was a common occurrence centuries ago, but many believe it doesn't exist in this day and age and not in this country.

Researchers explore future of 'postdigital' textbook

5 hours ago

An interdisciplinary team at Arizona State University has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation's Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program to conduct research on the future ...

Revealing political partisanship a bad idea on resumes

Nov 20, 2014

Displaced political aides looking for a new, nonpartisan job in the wake of the midterm power shuffle may fare better if they tone down any political references on their resumes, finds a new study from Duke University.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.