Improving Place Reputation: Do an Open Place Brand Process and an Identity-image Match Pay Off?

Erik Braun, Jasper Eshuis, Erik-Hans Klijn, Sebastian Zenker

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article explores how place reputation is affected by two strategies that are frequently incorporated in a strategic place branding framework. The first strategy is stimulating an open place brand process in which there are more than enough opportunities for an open debate and discussion in the process of developing and implementing a place brand. The second strategy concerns stimulating an identity-image match where the communicated place image reflects the place identity. It is hypothesized that each strategy has a direct positive effect on place reputation as well as two indirect (mediated) positive effects by increasing place brand adoption and reducing conflicts about place marketing by and between place stakeholders. The research applies structural equation modelling to data from nationwide surveys in the Netherlands and Germany among professionals working in place marketing and branding (N = 444). Results show that the first strategy has a positive direct effect on place reputation. The indirect effect on place reputation mediated by place brand adoption is positive, whereas the indirect effect mediated by the level of conflicts among stakeholders is negative. Thus, an open place brand process leads to more conflicts among stakeholders and thereby affecting place reputation negatively. However, the net result of these two indirect effects is still positive albeit small. The second strategy has a strong direct positive effect on place reputation as well as two positive mediated effects though place brand adoption and reducing conflicts among stakeholders. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Published online: 24. August 2017


  • Place reputation
  • Identity-image match
  • Open place brand process
  • Place brand adoption
  • Conflicts among stakeholders
  • Place brand governance

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