How can professional communication strategies improve the corporate image of SMEs in the Zaanse Schans? Case study on De Tweekoppige Phoenix

The main objective of the thesis is to identify the role of business communication in todays business world and more specifically to identify the best communication strategies for SMEs in the Zaanse Schans to improve their corporate image. Tourism in Netherlands has dramatically increased over the past decades, leading the Zaanse Schans as one of the top destinations to visit in the country. For the SMEs operating there, it is crucial to have a strong, efficient and effective communication strategy. In order to strengthen their presence and thus develop their activities, to improve their corporate image and to better communicate in and out the Zaanse Schans, SMEs in the Zaanse Schans will need to adapt to the current market trends while focusing on their strategic objectives and goals. This thesis will focus on how SMEs in the Zaanse Schans can best develop professional communication strategies. The practical part of the thesis will be composed of a case study and customer interviews. An in depth case study will be conducted for the company De Tweekoppige Phoenix, a Dutch family-owned business in the catering industry. De Twekoppige Phoenix is striving to grow, providing an inclusive restaurant experience as well as producing a variety of high quality gins, liquors and other alcoholic beverages from authentic Dutch recipes. While De Tweekoppige can be qualified as quite successful, it now want to strengthen its position and improve its corporate image in the Zaanse Schans. The vision of the company is to develop its corporate awareness, increase its corporate loyalty and improve its corporate image. The combination of theoretical research and the practical application for the case company, allow for this thesis to provide a well-rounded framework for SMEs in the Zaanse Schans to develop their professional communication strategies in order to develop their corporate image. The thesis has a strong communication focus, which is in line with the field of studies of Business Studies with a specialisation in business communication. Academic literature and sources will be analysed in the literature review section in order to build a strong foundation for the chosen thesis topic. The core of the thesis however will consist of guests interviews and data analysis. MRQ: How can professional communication strategies improve the corporate image of SMEs in the Zaanse Schans? RQ 1: How can an efficient communication strategy be beneficial to SMEs? RQ 2: What are the impacts of branding on the corporate image of SMEs? RQ 3: What is the ideal communication strategy to be most successful in the Zaanse Schans? RQ 4: How can SMEs in the Zaanse Schans best implement the suggested changes to improve their corporate image? The body of the thesis will be a case study of the company De Tweekoppige Phoenix and will consist of primary research including data analysis, creating a clear picture of the current communication strategy of De Tweekoppige Phoenix. Furthermore, questionnaires will be distributed to tourists and guests of De Tweekoppige Phoenix to find out, which aspects of De Tweekoppige Phoenix they like or would like to see improved. Loyal returning guests as well as tourists will be approached to create a clear picture of their expectations. Questions could include: Why did you choose to go to De Tweekoppige Phoenix rather than another restaurant in the Zaanse Schans?, What has stopped you from becoming a guest?, What is it you like most about De Tweekoppige Phoenix?. Based on the findings and results of the research, a strategic plan will be developed. This strategic plan will focus on the communication aspect in order to provide a well-rounded plan and to cover the criteria required by the thesis guidelines. The theoretical part is where some fundamental theories, key-notions, key-concepts will be explained – completely relevant to the topic of the project. The practical part is where a case study and interviews with experts as well as surveys are to be conducted (again, fully in line with the topic of the paper). The theoretical part should represent around 30% of the thesis, and the practical part should represent the remaining around 70%. References and sources must be mainly coming from books and academic articles. Internet might be used as well, if the websites found are relevant and professional.