The contribution of the present research and aim of the present paper is a provision and discussion of eclectic interdisciplinary concepts constituting a body of knowledge for developing and managing inter‐regional brands, hence contributing to closing the scientific gap as to an inter‐regional brand development conceptualisation.
The research method used was a case study, targeted to develop an understanding of a neglected academic field. Based on a documentary analysis, semi‐structured in‐depth interviews were conducted and interpreted. The InterReg IIIB‐supported RegioMarket project and a case study on Liechtenstein provide the background for the project.
Based on an extensive literature review, the present paper states that interdisciplinary theoretical development of the concept of branding has not kept pace with the increasing practical application of the branding concepts in a variety of sectors leading to application gaps and dissatisfying results. Representing the ultimate level of complexity, the development and management of inter‐regional brands crossing nations and cultures currently lacks any empirically researched systematic theory. Following the exploratory stage, an initial conceptualisation is presented to bridge the scientific gap as to the development of inter‐regional brands.
The major limitation of the research is that it focuses on only one participating region. Hence, the initial conceptualisation needs to be validated in other participating regions. A further limitation refers to a lack of research on the specific influence of SMEs on the success of the development of inter‐regional brands.
The discussion interlinks the interdisciplinary concepts of branding, perception, region, leadership, culture and identity and provides an initial conceptualisation so far not identified in the field of inter‐regional branding.
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