Towards Effective Place Brand Management
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Towards Effective Place Brand Management

Branding European Cities and Regions

Edited by Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis

Many facets of place branding, 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. This important new book examines and clarifies key aspects of the recently popularised concept of place branding, expounding many controversies, confusions and discords in the field.
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Chapter 6: Managing Otherness: The Political Economy of Place Images in the Case of Tuscany

Nicola Bellini, Anna Loffredo and Cecilia Pasquinelli


Nicola Bellini, Anna Loffredo and Cecilia Pasquinelli INTRODUCTION Discussions about image and branding policies are usually placed in the framework of ‘place marketing’ and marketing literature helps in defining the features, components and main characters of image and of its relationship with local identity. We suggest, however, that managing images is also a political process with significant impact in supporting and shaping the scenario (perceptions and expectations) for innovation and economic policies (Bellini, 2004). The argument is supported by two different and complementary case studies from Tuscany (Italy). The first one discusses the case of areas that show a divergence from the dominating pattern of social and economic development in the region. It is shown that ‘managing otherness’ is more than a communication problem and may reveal underlying ambiguities: at the same time, a request for supporting structurally disadvantaged areas and the affirmation of an alternative identity and of alternative development patterns. The second case study shows a different kind of ‘otherness’, concerning new industries and emerging social groups. Discussion shows that the branding process may imply a competition between images in order to control the representation of the past, present and future of an area. This competition aims at influencing the policy agenda by manipulating the gaps between image and identity. 89 90 Towards effective place brand management THE THEORY The Lessons from Marketing Place image (the image of a region, of a city etc.) has come to the attention of both scholars and practitioners mostly within the framework...

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