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The purpose of this paper is to strengthen the conceptual understanding of place brands and place branding by exploring to what extent place branding implies a level of…
The purpose of this paper is to strengthen the conceptual understanding of place brands and place branding by exploring to what extent place branding implies a level of selectivity and how this relates to the layering of spatial identities.
A conceptual approach has been taken in this paper to provide an analytical conceptualisation of place branding to guide future empirical studies. The research, and the resulting paper has been structured around a progressive discussion of place as concept, of place brands as limited forms of geographical representations and of place branding as a highly selective process.
Places are highly complex and cannot simply be understood as spatial entities within a closed hierarchical, territorial‐administrative system. Places only exist when they have an audience, and the resulting spatial identities often overlap, contradict or complement each other across existing territorial‐administrative levels. The rise of new forms of spatial identities results in new “places”, and all places can be seen as having or being brands. The notion of place branding implies market segmentation and a certain level of power to exercise control by selecting target groups and formulating policy, strategy and undertaking action.
In future empirical and conceptual research concerned with place branding the inherent selectivity of place branding should be given more attention. The ends to which place branding is used as a means should be paid more attention in both policy (practice) and science (theory).
This paper contributes to the understanding of the metaphorical translation of branding and marketing towards places and spaces.
The aim of this paper is to assess the thinning notion in a case study while acknowledging the hybrid nature of regional identities with the past. In The Netherlands, a…
The aim of this paper is to assess the thinning notion in a case study while acknowledging the hybrid nature of regional identities with the past. In The Netherlands, a process can be observed in which regions actively claim their uniqueness to ensure their development and relevance. It seems that regions adopt similar modern labels in their regional marketing, suggesting a so-called thinning of identities away from traditional thick identities.
The paper is based on a content analysis of promotional texts and interviews with politicians to analyse the context, aims and perceptions of the regional marketing. It stresses an approach which sees identities as balanced between the present and the past.
In line with the thinning notion, this case study shows indeed a creation of new thin elements and an exclusion of traditional thick elements in the regional marketing. However, it was also found that the marketing entails creative links between both characteristics, which suggest a tempering of the thinning notion.
The results show that linking traditional with utilitarian elements might capacitate traditional regions to allocate the resources for regional marketing more effectively.
Despite the fact that studies acknowledge identities as neither thick nor thin, the thinning notion seems to examine both elements as a dichotomy within regions, which does not follow the nature of identities as interconnected in time. Then, the value of this study must be found in the way it goes behind such a dichotomy by presenting an integrative analysis of thin and thick characteristics.