Understanding resident city brand disengagement
Journal of Place Management and Development
Article publication date: 12 October 2015
The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors underlying residents’ lack of involvement and engagement with their city brand. This paper addresses the gap in understanding residents’ disengagement from their city brand.
In-depth interviews with 14 residents of Dunedin City, New Zealand, were conducted to identify and understand the factors that underlie residents’ disengagement from their city brand. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.
Four major themes or factors that influence residents’ disengagement were identified: lack of brand awareness/knowledge; lack of brand identification; disapproval of local government actions; and cynical attitudes towards involvement.
This paper focuses on one city brand, with its unique history and institutional context, and the thoughts and experiences of a limited group of residents, thus limiting the applicability of the findings. A longitudinal study would be helpful to identify if residents’ engagement with their place brand change over time and the underlying reasons for such changes.
Extant research highlights the importance of a participatory, co-creative process between citizens and local governments for building city brands. Despite this, this study’s findings demonstrate that there might be several formidable barriers to resident participation in their city’s branding process.
This paper represents a first step in understanding what might trigger or contribute to residents becoming disengaged from their city’s brand. Therefore, this paper considers the “hidden voices” of residents who have become largely disconnected from the city brand.
Insch, A. and Stuart, M. (2015), "Understanding resident city brand disengagement", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 172-186. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-06-2015-0016
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited