The purpose of this paper is to bring together theory and practice of place branding/marketing from a practitioner's point of view. It is a critical assessment of the recent place marketing strategy for the city of Bogotá, Colombia.
The paper is based on a case study, that of the place marketing strategy for Bogotá. After a description of the initial task for city officials and the consultant, the paper presents the process of designing the strategy, focusing on citizen participation. It describes the inherent difficulties and tensions of any similar task and the practical compromises that had to be reached. Finally these findings are discussed again in a theoretical context, integrating place branding with other planning and positioning measures.
Place branding can indeed be a useful tool for place development, if it is understood as one possible tool of policy making and is incorporated in a broader conceptualization of the relationship among places, not limited to competition alone.
The paper's main position is that place branding is legitimate when there is a gap between a place's reality and perception. Understanding place branding as one possible tool for the development and positioning of places, means that practitioners and academics alike will have to rethink how to integrate it more effectively into existing policy making. Finally it shows both the importance and limitations of participatory processes.
The paper is a critical assessment of the experience of a practitioner linked with theoretical and methodological consideration; it tries to fill the gap between theoretical considerations and constrains of the profession.
Kalandides, A. (2011), "City marketing for Bogotá: a case study in integrated place branding", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 282-291. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538331111176093
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