Putting City Branding into Practice

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


City branding has joined the vocabulary of a growing number of politicians and city officials across Europe. While most academic research in this field has focused on the concept of city branding itself, the subject of this article is the implementation of city branding. In this conceptual paper it is argued that the governance setting in which city branding takes place, as well as the impact of specific choices made in the branding process, greatly affect the implementation of city branding. This research identifies eight factors: the first four are governance factors concerning the fit of city branding with the city's wider policy framework; the last four factors are intrinsically linked to the concept and application of branding itself. The first four factors identified are especially important for bolstering the significance of city branding in relation to the city′s traditional policies: they could help marketing professionals avoid mistakes previously made with the introduction of city marketing. At the same time, the strategic branding choices of city marketers could have a direct impact on the political decision-making process as well. Hence, city branding requires the combination of marketing excellence with the sensitivity of operating in a political environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Brand Management
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)257–267
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • City branding
  • Place branding
  • Branding
  • Place marketing
  • City marketing
  • Governance
  • Cities

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