Branding European Cities and Regions
Edited by Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis
Chapter 3: Is Corporate Branding Relevant to Places?
Mihalis Kavaratzis INTRODUCTION This chapter takes up the notions of corporate level marketing and branding, which were introduced in the previous chapter, and focuses on the similarities between corporate branding and place branding. The chapter examines two intriguing questions. The first is whether place branding is really branding and whether it can be used as a tool of place development. The ultimate goal of place marketing is to foster local development in order to increase the well-being of the residents of the place. Is branding an effective tool that can be used to that end? The second question is whether place branding is a form of corporate branding. The similarities between corporate branding and place branding have been noted by several commentators (including Kavaratzis and Ashworth, 2005; Hankinson, 2007; Skinner, 2008; Kavaratzis, 2009) and there seems to be an underlying agreement that corporate branding has brought marketing theories closer than ever before to the needs and peculiarities of places (Kavaratzis, 2009). It is useful for the readers of this book to examine the relationship and possible links of corporate branding and marketing to place branding theory and practice. This is done in the second part of this chapter. IS PLACE BRANDING REALLY BRANDING? As discussed in the introductory chapter, many authors have noted the popularity of branding and the relevance to places. However, as Braun (2008), among others, identifies, there are different views on what branding is. Braun (2008) contrasts the definition by Kotler (1997) who defines a brand as...
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