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Organizing local “green” entrepreneurship: a brand perspective

Sven J. Willemsen (Department of Marketing, Market Research & Innovation, HU Research Centre for Innovation and Business, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Gerrita van der Veen (Department of Marketing, Market Research & Innovation, HU Research Centre for Innovation and Business, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




This paper aims to show how current insights on place branding are used to organize “green” entrepreneurship in the Dutch Utrechtse Heuvelrug region. The role of place is explored in establishing a differentiated meaning for green entrepreneurship and providing an inspirational source for innovations, resulting in a green economic value proposition designed and communicated through branding.


From the literature, different perspectives on the role and function of the place were derived, which lead to the choice of an identity-based entrepreneurial brand. To define the regional identity, qualitative and quantitative research were conducted. In addition, co-creation sessions were organized to further develop the brand.


Taking place branding as the starting point, a framework has been developed, introducing the regional identity as an open space, linking locally based sub-brands to enhance power. To deliver economical and social value in an area with no leading business to sustainability and well-developed business skills, cluster development has been introduced as a way to create new economic activity and sustainable impact.

Practical implications

The strategy of separating stakeholders and position them as locally based brands enables place planners and marketers to manage place brand complexity, which generally delays the process, often limiting place branding to “logos and slogans”.


This paper provides a case study, which offers new perspectives on the issue of managing complexity, which is inevitable in organizing a place brand.



J. Willemsen, S. and van der Veen, G. (2014), "Organizing local “green” entrepreneurship: a brand perspective", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 235-246.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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