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Place brand equity: a model for establishing the effectiveness of place brands

Björn P. Jacobsen (School of the Environment, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 5 October 2012




Places in competition for inward investment increasingly apply place brands to address their target groups, often being unable to adequately establish the effectiveness of this approach. Based on theoretically derived components and structures an empirically validated model – the investor‐based place brand equity model (IPE) – is presented. Using the example of North European creative industries investments in Germany, the purpose of this paper is to illustrate the application of the model in establishing the effectiveness of place brands. This is preformed with the German place brand “Lübeck” as the illustrative case.


Theoretically derived model components and structures to establish the effectiveness of place brands from an investor perspective are tested empirically. This empirical test encompasses primary data from 101 North European creative industries investors in Germany (31 percent of total population).


The effectiveness of place brands in influencing the behaviour of inward investors can be established by identifying and applying suitable place brand attributes and place brand benefits. While place brand attributes assist the operational place brand management, place brand benefits support strategic decisions to be taken by place brand managers.

Research limitations/implications

The model is limited to establish the effectiveness of place brands from the investor's point of view. If this approach can be related to the costs of implementation, the model can be extended to assess the efficiency. Within the context of this research, establishing the effectiveness is considered to be the only reliable approach for the time being since the costs of the place branding activities can usually not be delimited from economic development budgets. The model has not yet been considered for other target groups (e.g. tourists, residents).


So far this area of research has been approached by case studies. Considering this limited research basis, this paper aims at developing a generic approach to identify and validate those components and structures which can increase the effectiveness of place brands from an investor's perspective.



Jacobsen, B.P. (2012), "Place brand equity: a model for establishing the effectiveness of place brands", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 253-271.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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