Branding European Cities and Regions
Edited by Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis
Chapter 13: Personality Association as an Instrument of Place Branding: Possibilities and Pitfalls
Gregory Ashworth INSTRUMENTS OF PLACE BRANDING There are many instruments available to place management authorities attempting to apply the concepts of place branding, as described earlier, as part of strategies devised to create brand value in pursuit of whatever local objectives have been determined by them. These may include fiscal, organisational, political and infrastructural measures as well as a whole gamut of marketing techniques, from public relations to media advertising. The core idea within such policies is the deliberate shaping and projection of a selected sense of place, conveying associations that establish a brand in the mind of the consumer as place user (Elliot and Wattanasuwan, 1998; Hauben et al., 2002). Of the many instruments that can be employed in the furtherance of this strategy, three are particularly favoured by place managers, and generally loom large in most place branding policies. These are signature buildings, hallmark events and personality association. All three treat elements familiar in other contexts to spatial planners, urban managers and urban designers, thus it is understandable that they should feel comfortable with them even when the marketing is not well understood. The first is considered in a design context in Chapter 12, the second has a substantial literature (e.g. Ritchie, 1984; Hall, 1989; Andranovich, 2001) and the third will be examined in this chapter, if only because little attention has so far been paid to it in comparison with the other two. However as has been argued earlier, it is only very recently that place managers...
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