Table of Contents

Branding Chinese Mega-Cities

Branding Chinese Mega-Cities

Policies, Practices and Positioning

Edited by Per Olof Berg and Emma Björner

This interdisciplinary book details the economic, cultural and social background of the development of Chinese mega-cities, as well as presenting the mechanisms of governance and urban growth strategies. Therein, the main discussion centres on the contemporary practice of city branding and development in China in relation to the rest of the world. This includes the way stakeholders and actors are engaged in city branding; the ‘societal forces’ that impact the city branding process; the way cities compete internationally; and how mega-cities build brands to strategically position themselves globally.

Chapter 15: Place-based brands: product origin, brand channels and global circuits

Dominic Power, Johan Jansson and Xiucheng Fan

Subjects: business and management, marketing, urban and regional studies, cities


Traditionally, both the business and research worlds have posited direct links between products and place: Hollywood films, Paris fashion, and Swiss watches. It has been thought that regional and industrial success can at least partly be explained by mutually reinforcing effects: a locally embedded industry adds to the brand and vice versa. In this chapter, we argue that this view does not fully explain the 'origins' of products nor does it explain fully how origins embed a place. We explore the notion that the 'origins' of products can be considered to be 'collective brands' with considerable power. As such, they are built up in a dialectical relationship between product industries and their places. Understandings of the connections between products and places could benefit from thinking about the role and geographies of 'brand channels' (Jansson and Power 2010) in which brands are constantly worked on. These brand channels are the spaces and conduits for the messages and various iterations that brands rest upon. However, just because the brand is about one place does not mean that the channels are constructed and transmitted locally. Rather, we argue that it is important to think of brand channels as being rooted in a relational space where brands are constantly reworked and renewed in global circuits (Sassen 2002).

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