Branding European Cities and Regions
Edited by Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis
1. Place branding: where do we stand? Mihalis Kavaratzis and Gregory Ashworth The overall aim of this book is to examine and clarify several aspects of the recently popularized concept of place branding. Many of the constituents of the application of branding to places, such as identities, image, promotion or sense of place, have been around for a long time. However, the need to analyse their nature in the context of branding and to examine their relationships in detail has grown rapidly in the last decade or so, as places all over the world have put branding activities higher than ever in their agenda. Many controversies, confusions and discords will be discussed in the chapters that follow. This introductory chapter examines contemporary place branding understanding in the literature and describes how the issues discussed in the chapters of this book relate to the general topic and to each other. To start with, it is worth taking a brief look at the wider setting of place marketing. BEFORE PLACE BRANDING The application of marketing techniques and the adoption of a marketing philosophy in order to meet operational and strategic goals of places have been well established both in practice and in theory. The rapid rise in popularity of place marketing over the past decade, to the extent that it has become an acceptable and commonplace activity of place management, may give the impression that this is a recent phenomenon. It is not. Places have long felt a need to differentiate themselves...
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