City Branding


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City Branding

  1. 1. CITY BRANDING: AN EFFECTIVE ASSERTION OF IDENTITY OR A TRANSITORY MARKETING TRICK? MIHALIS KAVARATZIS* & G. J. ASHWORTH** *Research assistant, Urban and Regional Studies Institute, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV, Groningen, the Netherlands. E-mail: **Professor of Heritage Planning and Urban Tourism, Department of Planning, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen the Netherlands. E-mail: Received: September 2004; revised February 2005 ABSTRACT Cities throughout Europe are increasingly importing the concept and techniques of product branding for use within place marketing, in pursuit of wider urban management goals, especially within the new conditions created by European integration. However, there is as yet little consensus about the nature of city branding, let alone its role in public sector urban planning and management. This exploratory paper will first, use contemporary developments in marketing theory and practice to suggest how product branding can be transformed into city branding as a powerful image-building strategy, with significant relevance to the contemporary city. Second, it will define city branding, as it is being currently understood by city administrators and critically examine its contemporary use so that a framework for an effective place branding strategy can be constructed. Key words: Place marketing, city branding, brand components, corporate branding century but a reaction to the growing competi- FROM PLACE MARKETING TO PLACE tion between places occasioned by the nation- BRANDING alisation and globalisation of markets. However Places have long felt a need to differentiate it was not until around 20 years ago that there themselves from each other, to assert their was a general acceptance that promotion (largely individuality in pursuit of various economic, treated as a synonym for advertising) was a valid political or socio-psychological objectives. The activity for public sector management agencies conscious attempt of governments to shape a (Burgess 1982), and that the systematic applica- specifically-designed place identity and promote tion of marketing was relevant to collective goals it to identified markets, whether external or and practices and thus an essential component internal is almost as old as civic government of the study of places and their management. itself. Thus, any consideration of the funda- The transition from the random addition of mental geographical idea of sense of place must some often crude and disembodied promotion include the deliberate creation of such senses to the existing tool box of planning instruments through place marketing. to a more far reaching application of marketing City ‘boosterism’ as described in the many his- as a means of viewing and treating places as a torical cases in Gold & Ward (1994) and Ward whole was neither smooth nor complete. How- (1998) was not a new idea in the nineteenth ever by the beginning of the 1990s there was a Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie – 2005, Vol. 96, No. 5, pp. 506–514. © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden MA 02148, USA
  2. 2. 507 CITY BRANDING serious attempt to create a distinctive place cities and their users take place through percep- marketing approach (e.g. Ashworth & Voogd tions and images. Marketing therefore cannot 1990; Berg et al. 1990; Kotler et al. 1993). other than be ‘the conscious and planned prac- Since then a number of paradoxes have tice of signification and representation’ (Firat become evident. On the one hand marketing & Venkatesh 1993, p. 246), which in turn is the specialists have continued to refine their concepts starting point for examining place branding. and ideas and place marketing has become a One of the cornerstones of marketing thought commonplace activity of cities, regions and is undoubtedly consumer orientation; thinking countries. On the other hand very few market- about the product, the company and the way we ing specialists have given much thought to its ‘do business’ from the consumer’s viewpoint. In application to places, treated as products, and, city marketing and especially in the case of the if they do, they too easily assume that places are city’s existing residents, consumer’s orientation just spatially extended products that require would have to be how the residents encounter little special attention as a consequence of their the city they live in, how they make sense of it, spatiality. Equally public sector planners have which physical, symbolic or other elements they long been prone to the adoption, overuse and evaluate in order to make their assessment of then consignment to oblivion, of fashionable the city. The field of cultural geography has slogans as a result perhaps of their necessity to dealt with such matters and has developed an convince political decision-makers who place a understanding, which is useful at this point. premium on novelty, succinctness and simplicity. In general, people make sense of places or It is not surprising therefore that despite the construct places in their minds through three appearance of a small number of publications processes (see e.g. Crang 1998; Holloway & on the topic of city branding in the last few Hubbard 2001). These are first, through years (Ashworth 2001; Hankinson 2001, 2004; planned interventions such as planning, urban Trueman et al. 2001, 2004; Hauben et al. 2002; design and so on; second, through the way in Rainisto 2003), there is a recognisable gap in which they or others use specific places; and the literature with regard to the branding third, through various forms of place repre- process of cities in general (Hankinson 2001) sentations such as films, novels, paintings, news and real case studies in particular (Anholt reports and so on. It is generally acknowledged 2002; Rainisto 2003). ‘This is in contrast to the that people encounter places through percep- increasing evidence in the press that branding, tions and images. As Holloway & Hubbard at least as a concept, is increasingly being applied (2001, p. 48) describe, interactions with places to locations’ (Hankinson 2001, p. 129). may be ‘through direct experience or the environ- Place marketing has been facilitated by theoret- ment or indirectly through media representa- ical developments within the marketing discipline tions’. However, what is critical is how, this that paved the way for an understanding of mar- information is processed, via mental processes keting implications for urban planning and man- of cognition, to form stable and learned images agement (Ashworth & Voogd 1990). The transition of place, which are the basis for our everyday from city marketing to city branding is facil- interactions with the environment. It is the itated not only by the extensive use and success mental maps that individuals create that allow of product branding, but also by the recently but them to navigate through complex reality, rapidly developed concept of corporate brand- because ‘our surroundings are often more com- ing (e.g. Balmer 2001; Balmer & Greyser 2003). plex than the sense we make of them’. The purpose of this paper is not to re-examine Branding deals specifically with such mental the extensive literature on corporate and product images. Place branding centres on people’s per- branding but to focus specifically upon the self- ceptions and images and puts them at the heart conscious application of branding to places as of orchestrated activities, designed to shape the an instrument of urban planning and manage- place and its future. Managing the place brand ment. The application of place marketing is becomes an attempt to influence and treat largely dependent on the construction, communi- those mental maps in a way that is deemed cation and management of the city’s image, favourable to the present circumstances and because, at its simplest, encounters between future needs of the place. © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG
  3. 3. 508 MIHALIS KAVARATZIS & G. J. ASHWORTH brand found in the literature. After a critical WHAT IS PLACE BRANDING? examination of those perspectives, they suggest The easy answer to this central question is that that ‘the brand is a multidimensional construct place branding is merely the application of whereby managers augment products or ser- product branding to places. This substitutes the vices with values and this facilitates the process question, what is a product brand and what is by which consumers confidently recognise and the process of product branding? How is it appreciate these values’. The boundaries of the different from product differentiation, product brand construct are, on the one side the activities positioning within competitive situations or just of the firm and on the other side the percep- the unique selling proposition of a product; all tions of the consumers. The brand becomes the of which are well known and easily understood interface between these two. concepts. Unfortunately there is no single A number of elements lie at each end of the accepted definition and the marketing experts boundaries of the brand construct. For the brand have often compounded the problem by their owners, these elements are the features and attempts to elaborate. Currently, there is at least beneficial attributes imbued in the brand. In a general agreement in the marketing literature addition, marketers may chose to stress symbolic, that the brand is more than an identifying name experiential, social and emotional values (De given to a product. It is also not (as some market- Chernatony & Dall’Olmo Riley 1998), creating ing commentators seem to be suggesting) a the brand identity. But these elements are not synonym for a single catchy slogan, however enough by themselves to construct a brand, as the much this might embody the aspirations of the brand relates to quality and values as perceived city authorities. Places do not suddenly acquire by the consumer. Branding is a mode of com- a new identity thanks to a slogan and a mem- munication and communication is always a two- orable logo. This would imply that what gave way process. From the consumer’s side, central meaning and value to the paintings of Pablo to the concept of the brand is the brand image, Picasso was the characteristic signature he used which incorporates perceptions of quality and and not the innovative ideas and style of his values as well as brand associations and feelings. art. Slogans and logos may be useful practical In summary, brand identity, brand positioning instruments in a place branding strategy but and brand image are related as in Figure 1: they are not the strategy itself. A brand embodies a whole set of physical and socio-psychological attributes and beliefs which are associated with the product (Simoes & Dibb 2001). It is more than the shaping of distinctive- ness: it is the forging of associations. ‘[A] brand is a product or service made distinctive by its posi- tioning relative to the competition and by its personality, which comprises a unique combina- tion of functional attributes and symbolic values’ (Hankinson & Cowking 1993, p. 10). Branding is a deliberate process of selecting and associating these attributes because they are assumed to add value to the basic product or service (Knox & Bickerton 2003). From this value stems a series of consequential and important attributes about the nature of the product, of its market- ing and of consumer behaviour towards it. THE COMPONENTS OF THE BRAND De Chernatony & Dall’Olmo Riley (1998) Figure 1 identify 12 perspectives on the definition of the © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG
  4. 4. 509 CITY BRANDING The product – A branded product requires a holder groups. This links the integrity of the brand identity, a brand differentiation and a brand product brand to the organisation and people personality (Aaker 1996). These are not so much behind the brand: ‘a corporate brand is the separate attributes as re-statements of the same visual, verbal and behavioural expression of an feature from different perspectives. Identifying organisation’s unique business model’ (Knox and clarifying the brand identity, or the core iden- & Bickerton 2003, p. 1013). The brand is tity, is in itself an instrument of differentiation expressed through the company’s mission, core of one product from another and recognising values, beliefs, communication, culture and its brand positioning, that is its relationship to com- overall design (Simoes & Dibb 2001). Crudely peting products within a defined competitive expressed, our products are different because arena. The process of product branding is both we are different and they have added value creative initiation and careful maintenance. because we have such value. This brand management is thus both strategic and The difficulties, limitations and vulnerability tactical although disproportionate attention in to unpredictable and unmanageable events the literature is generally paid to the former of a corporate brand as so defined have been (Keller 1998, p. 594). The objective of the process widely noted. ‘[A]lthough prevailing corporate and method of measuring its degree of success thinking considers identity to be a monolithic is the increase in brand equity which is the extra phenomenon, this premise is narrow and benefit enjoyed by the consumer above the bare inadequate’ (Balmer & Greyser 2002). It seems utility value of the product. Such equity in turn so self-evident as to be not worth stating that is composed of the two elements of brand organisations are not a single organism but are value (i.e. the associations themselves) and a composite of individuals and thus inevitably brand awareness (the strength of the recognition possess multiple identities. These may ‘co-exist of such associations). comfortably within the organisation even if they are slightly different’ (Balmer & Greyser 2002, The producer – Product marketing and specifi- p. 16) but equally may not and organisations cally product branding has shifted much of manage their multiple identities to avoid poten- the focus of its attention recently to the nature tially harmful misalignments. of the producer and specifically the idea of corporate level marketing, and thus corporate The consumer – Branding is not only a differ- branding, which is a development of traditional entiation of the product; it is also a differen- product branding, necessitated and, at the same tiation of the consumer. The objective is brand time, enriched by the rise of other corporate level equity, loosely defined as the extent and nature concepts, such as corporate image, corporate of the consumers’ knowledge of the brand, identity and corporate communications (e.g. which is the sum of brand value, brand awareness Balmer 1998; Balmer & Greyser 2003). and brand loyalty. The first is the balance of Product branding is now generally subsumed positive or negative associations, the second, into the branding of the organisations that make the degree of recognition of the distinctiveness and sell them. The corporate brand has been of the brand and the third, the consistency of defined as the ‘state of will of the organisation these variables over time. and the active part of the image building process’ Each could be further refined and linked to (Kapferer 1992). It is the expression of a cor- brand image as ‘the perception of the brand in porate identity, which ‘articulates the corporate the minds of people . . . it is what people ethos, aims and values and presents a sense of believe about a brand – their thoughts, feelings, individuality that can help to differentiate the expectations’ (Bennett 1995) or ‘brand identity organisation within its competitive environment’ as the creation of a relationship between the (Van Riel & Balmer 1997, p. 355). ‘The associ- brand and the customers with a value proposi- ations represent what the brand stands for and tion that consists of functional, emotional, and imply a promise to customers from the organisa- self-expressive benefits’ (Kapferer 1992). It tion’ (Aaker 1996) or even an explicit ‘covenant’ perhaps needs reiterating here that although (Balmer 2001) between an organisation and, branding is performed by producers for their not only its customers, but also its key stake- advantage, it is also in the interest of consumers © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG
  5. 5. 510 MIHALIS KAVARATZIS & G. J. ASHWORTH in so far as it facilitates consumer decision- general, is impossible because places are not making. Brand equity simplifies choice by allow- products, governments are not producers and ing consumers to rapidly identify products whose users are not consumers. supply is guaranteed, quality controlled and Our contention however is that place brand- stabilised (Kapferer 1992, p. 9). ing is not only possible, it is and has been, prac- Brands are not only considered as valuable ticed consciously or unconsciously for as long assets of a company, but furthermore, as some as cities have competed with each other for experts believe in post-modern consumer cul- trade, populations, wealth, prestige or power. In ture, brands play a vital role in the construction the marketing literature, it is acknowledged of consumer identity (Elliot & Wattanasuwan that the brand and the product are not synon- 1998). Furthermore, brands are said to possess ymous. At its simplest, the difference refers to a ‘linking value’, which links the brand users into the added values that branding attributes to the groups or communities (Cova 1997). Certainly product. Jones (1986) defines the brand as ‘a there are links between the adoption of life-styles product that provides functional benefits plus as group identifiers and the strong association added values that some consumers value between these and specific brands to the extent enough to buy’. This is the augmented product, that groups themselves become branded with well known in various marketing articles. The the product (the ‘Armani set’). Much brand novelty is that branding attempts to market this management in practice is an interaction augmented product. It is the added values that between such life-style brands and the products provide the guidelines for the construction of they feature with producers attempting to the functional benefits and not vice versa. All exploit, create or, on occasion, eschew such branding tries to endow a product with a specific associations. and more distinctive identity (Cova 1996) and that is, in essence, what most city marketing seeks to do for cities. A place needs to be differentiated FROM PRODUCTS TO PLACES through unique brand identity if it wants to be Places can be easily assumed to possess the first, recognised as existing, second, perceived above characteristics of identity, differentiation in the minds of place customers as possessing and personality and can thus be managed to qualities superior to those of competitors, and maximise equity, value and awareness. However, third, consumed in a manner commensurate whether the terms suffer a significant shift with the objectives of the place. Thus identity, in meaning when applied to place products differentiation, personality and thereby position- remains to be considered. ing in competitive arenas are all transferable The importance of the image for the con- concepts as long as the implications of this sumer or user of the place is what connects city transfer are fully understood. By this we mean branding to cultural geography. It also focuses that we can accept places as brandable products upon the ever-necessary consumer orientation. if their intrinsic and distinctive characteristics as We think of the place from the viewpoint of the place products are understood and a special end user; in terms of the way they sense, under- form of marketing developed which accommo- stand, use and connect to the place. dates and utilises these characteristics. Much of An immediate, persistent and convincing the literature from marketing specialists is not objection to this whole line of argument is that encouraging in these respects. places are just too complex to be treated like There have been numerous studies of the products. This would explain Hankinson’s promotion of individual and groups of places, (2001, p. 129) comments that ‘in contrast to the since Burgess’ (1982) pioneering account of marketing of locations, there are relatively few promotional media used in UK local authorities. articles to be found in the academic literature Almost 20 years later Hankinson (2001) studied with regard to the promotion of locations as the practice of branding in 12 English cities, dis- brands. This is in contrast to the increasing covering that it was both widely used and little evidence in the press that branding, at least as understood, which was a not altogether startling a concept, is increasingly being applied to loca- or indeed very helpful conclusion but is all too tions’. Place branding, like place marketing in typical of many such investigations. Trueman © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG
  6. 6. 511 CITY BRANDING et al., (2001, pp. 8–13) struggled with this pro- mean it here. It is merely a copyrighted brand blem of transfer of conventional product brand name, legally preventing other places from analysis to places, concluding that it was possible, adopting the word but not the ‘champagne ‘provided sufficient weight is given to different method’ and presumably preventing other pro- stakeholders’. This is no more than a recognition ducers in the location naming their different that places have more varied ‘users’, ‘owners’ products with the same place title. There is no and ‘governors’ than do commercial corpor- conscious attempt to link any supposed attri- ations and thus not only are the products more butes of the place to the product, which gains varied, so also are the goals of the producers nothing from the association, which is only an and the utilities of the consumers. The two historical-geographical accident, which could intrinsic weaknesses of stakeholder approaches, conceivably have been somewhere else without namely that the list will never be all-inclusive loss. A place becomes only a name for a specific and the weighting between them crude, are so brand or, in other instances, a generic name for more evident with places than with commercial a production process. The place has no other products as to effectively admit that the condi- significance and neither determines the locus tions can never be met. of production or any other transferable char- The similarities between corporate brand- acteristic: Parma ham receives nothing from ing and city branding have occurred to many Northern Italy nor muslin from Mosul. However observers therefore shifting from the commer- there are many instances where it would be dif- cial corporation to the public sector agency ficult not to name the product from its location, seems a logical extension of the idea because as the geographical location is an important ‘place brands resemble corporate umbrella part of what is being sold. Property agents and brands to some extent’ (Rainisto 2003, p. 50). tourism promoters come immediately to mind Both have multidisciplinary roots (e.g. Ashworth as they are unavoidably selling actual locations. & Voogd 1990), both address multiple groups Here the typology begins to move away from of stakeholders (e.g. Kotler et al. 1993; Ashworth the first category towards the second and third 2001), both have a high level of intangibility especially when sellers begin to select, modify and complexity, both need to take into account and manipulate geographical nomenclature social responsibility (e.g. Ave 1994), and both creating in effect their own geographies. Place deal with multiple identities (e.g. Dematteis branding, however, is not about using the qual- 1994). However it is far easier to state these ities of the place to promote local products in similarities than to measure them, let alone national and international markets. Branding accommodate them in applications of place Brussels as the hometown of sprouts is very dif- branding. In addition public place management ferent from branding it as the capital of Europe. corporations may have considerable difficulty On the contrary, part of place branding is about in projecting a single clear corporate identity using the qualities of local products to ascribe because most democratic political systems meanings and associations to the place. encourage the open expression of alternatives Co-branding is common enough among rather than concealing them within a spurious physical products (‘fish and chips’ would be a communal unanimity. textbook example. Co-branding of product and There are at least three different sorts of place, attempts to market a physical product by place branding which are often confused in the associating it with a place that is assumed to literature, but which are really quite different have attributes beneficial to the image of the operations conducted by different types of product. An example often quoted in the producers for widely different objectives. The textbook is ‘Swiss watches’. This is a different first is geographical nomenclature, the second, use of place nomenclature than ‘Champagne’ product-place co-branding and the third, brand- because the objective is to transfer characteristics ing as place management. of reliability, fastidiousness and meticulousness Geographical nomenclature is merely where assumed to be associated with the Swiss people a physical product is named for a geographical or the country Switzerland, to watches for which location. The archetype is the sparkling wine these are assumed to be desirable attributes. ‘Champagne’. This is not place branding as we This is an intrinsically dangerous practice if only © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG
  7. 7. 512 MIHALIS KAVARATZIS & G. J. ASHWORTH because place images are both multifaceted and its components in terms of the major audiences unstable. The above characteristics of the Swiss it addresses. This is what has been practiced assumed to be beneficial to the product could within city marketing. The city is simultaneously be substituted by the much less helpful, and a place of residence and a place of work for equally assumed, characteristics of parsimony, the people that live in it, a destination for the parochialness and creative dullness. Equally such people that visit it (or plan to do so), a place of place associations can change quite rapidly, opportunity for the people who invest in it. Can shifting from positive to negative associations. we, then, develop different brands for each of Third, place branding can be treated as a those audiences? Practice shows that we can. So form of place management. At its simplest level the city becomes a multitude of brands, a brand much place management depends heavily upon line similar to a product line. This logic stems changing the way places are perceived by speci- from product branding. It is a city marketing fied user groups. For instance, ‘urban renewal approach, where market segmentation, separa- includes the creation of an identity with its own tion and targeting are the critical activities. We experiential value, which is profoundly original plan, create and sell different products to the and uncopiable. This touches upon such points various segments. as structure, programming, functions, the sort The main suggestion of corporate branding of actions and activities that characterize the is that the whole organisation is branded, not image of the city, events and in the last resort each product. Each product can enjoy the bene- the chemistry of the people who operate there’ fits of belonging to the corporate brand family. (Florian 2002, p. 24). The creation of a recog- That is not to say that market segmentation has nisable place identity, little more than a sort of lost its meaning or usefulness (although some civic consciousnesses, and the subsequent use post-modern commentators do argue that). of that identity to further other desirable pro- But it is not used for the corporate brand. The cesses, whether financial investment, changes in corporate brand is attached to more universal user behaviour or generating political capital. values, such as social responsibility, environmental It should be clear from the above definitions that care, sustainability, progressiveness, innovation, this is more than the creation and promotion trust, quality, etc. of place images as part of place management. Applying corporate branding to places The question we have to answer is, can the demands a treatment of the place brand as the city’s brand (or even only examining and think- whole entity of the place-products, in order to ing about the city as a brand) operate as an achieve consistency in the messages sent. At the umbrella that can cover a multitude of stake- same time it demands associating the place with holders and audiences? Can city branding ‘stories’ about the place not by simply adding create in the mind of people who encounter them next to the name or trying to imply them the city the feeling (or even illusion) that they by isolating beautiful images of the place. First, are dealing with an entity, with one thing, with the ‘stories’ need to be built into the place, not which they could have a relationship? least by planning and design interventions, In theory, and also in practice, the answer is infrastructure development and the organisa- yes, as long as the values that are developed as tional structure and, subsequently, they can and the core of the brand are bound together by a must be communicated through the more vision which gives them meaning, impetus and general attitude of the place and through pro- direction (De Chernatony & Dall’Olmo Riley motional activities (Kavaratzis 2004). When 1998). But then we need to develop an inte- this is achieved, place marketing will be able to grated framework that will clarify all aspects of effectively deny the accusations of selective developing a city-brand and give guidance for manipulation of meanings (Griffiths 1998), managing it. creation of inauthentic traditions and irrelevant What if the answer is no? Should we dismiss cultural motifs (Kearns & Philo 1993) and city branding as a misleading irrelevance? Even exacerbation of social inequalities and unrest if the city brand cannot work as an umbrella to (Griffiths 1998). cover all aspects of life and activity in the city, It is not the main purpose of this brief paper then it might be worth breaking it down into to outline in detail the practical techniques © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG
  8. 8. 513 CITY BRANDING used by places to brand themselves. Suffice it to or ‘King Arthur’s Camelot’ have not resorted to say here that the three main techniques cur- judicial resolution, which indicates a number of rently fashionable among urban planners have significant differences between place products been listed as ‘Personality branding’ (or ‘The and other products. Gaudi gambit’ after the success of its Barce- Place branding from the standpoint of the lona application), ‘Flagship construction’ (or place recognises that place products remain ‘The Pompidou ploy’ after the grands projet on places with the distinct attributes that accrue the Paris Beaubourg) and ‘Events branding’. All to places, such as spatial scale, spatial hierarchies, are designed to not only attract attention and resulting scale shadowing, the inherent multi- place recognition (thus brand awareness) but plicity and vagueness of goals, product-user also to raise associations between the place and combinations and consumer utilities. All these attributes regarded as being beneficial to its and more (as outlined in Ashworth & Voogd economic or social development (thus brand 1990) make places distinctive products and thus utility). place branding a distinctive form of product branding. If these distinctions can be recog- nised and incorporated into the process then it PLACES, PRODUCTS AND BRANDS becomes a valid and effective form of manage- This paper began with the assertion of the ment: if not, it is an irrelevant distraction. existence of a gap between two approaches and usages of place branding; that of the public sector place managers and that of the commer- REFERENCES cial producers. This gap has not been bridged here but its dimensions have been specified and Aaker, D.A. (1996), Building Strong Brands. New York: some of the confusion resulting from two quite Free Press. different approaches can, to an extent at least, Anholt, S. (2002), Foreword to the Special Issue on be ordered. Place Branding. Journal of Brand Management 9, The Kotler et al. (1993) approach, shared im- pp. 229–239. plicitly by most of the marketing science experts Ashworth, G.J. (2001), The Communication of the cited here, stems from the standpoint and experi- Brand Images of Cities. Paper presented in the ence of commercial product marketing. Here, Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo there is no logical or practical difficulty in conference: The Construction and Communica- transposing physical and place products, com- tion of the Brand Images of Cities, Valencia. mercial and public corporations, customers and Ashworth, G.J. & H. Voogd (1990), Selling the City: place users. Place branding becomes the use of Marketing Approaches in Public Sector Urban Planning. place names as products and the use of place London: Belhaven Press. attributes as associations for products. Ave, G. (1994), Urban Planning and Strategic Urban In contrast our approach stems from the view- Marketing in Europe. In: G. Ave & F. Corsico, eds., point and experience of place management, Marketing Urbano International Conference. Torino: where marketing terminology, techniques Edizioni Torino Incontra. and philosophies have been used for at least a Balmer, J.M.T. (1998), Corporate Identity and the decade as part of public sector management for Advent of Corporate Marketing. Journal of Marketing collective goals. In so far as brands are assets, Management 14, 963–996. which are expensive to create and manage, it is Balmer, J.M.T. (2001), Corporate Identity, Corporate not surprising that brand owners endeavour Branding and Corporate Marketing: Seeing through to protect them from predatory competitors. It the Fog. European Journal of Marketing 35, pp. 248–291. is perhaps a significant distinction that copy- Balmer, J.M.T. & S.A. Greyser (2002), Managing the right law rarely applies to place products. (The Multiple Identities of the Corporation. California ‘champagne’ type case copyrights the nomen- Management Review 44, pp. 72–86. clature as product name not the place product Balmer, J.M.T. & S.A. Greyser, eds. (2003), Revealing in our sense of the word.) The disputes that the Corporation: Perspectives on Identity, Image, Reputa- have occurred, such as the ‘battles’ between tion, Corporate Branding and Corporate-level Marketing . spatial jurisdictions for ‘Robin Hood Country’ London: Routledge. © 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG
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