Since early 2000s, several efforts have been initiated to market the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) globally, and the BaltMet Promo project is among them. Simultaneously, several other cases of supra‐national branding have emerged, e.g. the Greater Mekong region, Danube region, and Visegrad countries. Little attention has yet been paid in the literature to branding of supra‐national entities. The purpose of this paper is to discuss branding of BSR using the examples of supra‐national product building of the BaltMet Promo project (2010‐2011).
Branding BSR has faced criticism against its supra‐national perspective which may be seen as a direct competitor to city or nation branding. To shift from competition to cooperation BaltMet Promo acknowledged a bottom‐up approach and nine organisations from six countries created supra‐national products to promote tourism, talent attraction, and investments. Each product concept was built on intensive background research and transnational triple‐helix cooperation.
The case of BaltMet Promo shows that supra‐national branding benefits from a bottom‐up approach that uses concrete products and services as the core of the brand identity. To shift from competition to cooperation the partnership promoted BSR as a common region with a common work plan. Different scales of branding serve different markets. The more distant the market, such as Japan in the case of BaltMet Promo, the more cost effective supra‐regional branding becomes compared to more narrow scales of branding.
The paper introduces recent developments in supra‐national branding using data of the BaltMet Promo project. The analysis aims to contribute to product building, triple helix stakeholder cooperation, and policy making.
Andersson, M. and Paajanen, M. (2012), "Common or competing products? Towards supra‐national branding in BaltMet Promo", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 56-69. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538331211209040Download as .RIS
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