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Territories, such as countries, regions and cities, compete with other geographical areas in order to attract investments, markets, businesses, residents, tourists, talents and entrepreneurs, as well as the hosting of cultural and sporting events.
This process is intensified with the growth of internationalization and globalization. These territories need to identify the opportunities and strengths to achieve competitive advantages for efficient access to markets, resources and people. A clear definition of place branding, developed in a consistent, cooperative way with stakeholders and as a product of a cooperative network between local, regional and national stakeholders, can promote the production base, increasing the touristic and human resource flows. Investors, citizens of different nationalities, students and researchers take part of this flow. Place branding is a new trend in marketing and territorial or destination marketing research. Place branding is a powerful tool available to academics and professionals who dedicate their research to promoting geographical units in place management. Place branding is an important concept in today’s competitive world when nations are competing for tourists, consumers, donors, immigrants, the media and governments of other countries.
The aim of this master’s thesis is to understand how the social and economic agents or place stakeholders should coordinate the activities to increase competitiveness and reputation in a context of internationalization. In this case study we applied seven semi-structured interviews to seven different economic and social stakeholders of the Minho region, northeast of Portugal.
The interview guide has been prepared keeping in mind the determinants of competitiveness of Michael Porter, and according to the six dimensions of The Nation Brand Hexagon of Simon Anholt, an index to measure the power and appeal of the image of countries as brands, here adapted to the Minho region. We summarize the main results of the interviews with one SWOT analysis. The results indicate that the Minho region should seek to attract foreign investment, bearing in mind the availability of excellent infrastructure and facilities for teaching and research, promoting itself as a region of knowledge and innovation.
Key-words: Marketing, Brands, Network, Territory, Competitiveness, Minho region.