Branding European Cities and Regions
Edited by Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis
Chapter 7: Place-making or Place Branding? Case Studies of Catalonia and Wales
Assumpció Huertas Roig, Annette Pritchard and Nigel Morgan INTRODUCTION Whilst it is widely acknowledged that branding has the potential to play a key role in destination development, the relationship is not always straightforward or well understood. Branding has been applied to consumer products for well over a century but the idea of places pursuing formalised brand strategies only originated on any scale in the 1990s. Whereas earlier ‘image-building’ marketing activities in the 1980s by cities such as New York and Glasgow (encapsulated by the slogans ‘I love New York’ and ‘Glasgow’s miles better’) foreshadowed such strategies, a strategic approach to place branding as we understand it today was pioneered at a national level in Australia, Hong Kong and Spain (Baker, 2007). Then major US cities like Seattle, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh embraced it, responding to a need to compete more effectively, to create a strategic decision-making framework and to increase accountability to their stakeholders. Many destinations now see place branding (which may encompass aspects of tourism, investment, exports, culture, sports, events, education and immigration) as a major instrument of management. The Destination Marketing Association International, the world’s largest official destination marketing organisation designates the development of a brand strategy as one of the critical items needed for accreditation in its Destination Marketing Association Accreditation Program (Baker, 2007). In today’s competitive globalised marketplace, branding has been described as ‘the most powerful marketing weapon available to contemporary destination marketers’ in their efforts to combat increasing product parity, substitutability and competition (Morgan et...
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