Branding European Cities and Regions
Edited by Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis
Chapter 14: Conclusion: In Search of Effective Place Brand Management
Gregory Ashworth and Mihalis Kavaratzis INTRODUCTION This book has explored several aspects of the theory and application of place branding. It has brought together, in a thorough and rigorous manner, contributions by scholars with a speciality in one or more of these aspects that have examined both theoretical suggestions stemming from the several disciplines that are involved in place branding and practical examples from many cities and regions across Europe. Perhaps the most obvious conclusion to be made is that there is still a lot of work needed before we can arrive at a comprehensive understanding and application of branding to places at all scales and in all continents. This embraces simultaneously discouraging and encouraging thoughts. The discouraging part has to do with the delay in developing a clear appreciation of what place branding is and what it can do for places. It also has to do with the recognised gap between theory and practice. As repeatedly noted in the book, practitioners are pressured by political circumstance to rush into a limited implementation and theoreticians have not yet managed to provide the foundations and framework that would widen this implementation and reach the desired results. The encouraging part has to do with the fact that some of the necessary work has already been done and the interest in problematic and, so far, neglected aspects of place branding is steadily growing. We feel that this book is testimony to the positive developments that are already apparent and will, hopefully, become mainstream...
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