Values are an important concept in marketing because they comprise part of peoples’ identity and can thus help marketers separate and target different audiences. Unsurprisingly, places and their marketing initiatives increasingly try to appeal to (potential) residents’ identity by communicating core values. While the notion of value congruence is not novel, most empirical methods in marketing to date only account for the degree rather than the level of congruence. To address this issue, the present article utilizes polynomial regression and response surface methodology (Edwards & Parry, 1993) in the context of place marketing. Accordingly, the first study shows that the perceived congruence of residents’ own values and the values of stereotypical city inhabitants significantly affect residents’ feelings about their own cities (N = 1257), but with different effects for different values and levels of congruence. This finding holds not only for popular target groups such as the “creative class” but also across all groups. The second study (N = 449) shows that city slogans can effectively communicate specific values and that value congruence leads to a more positive evaluation of the city brand. Finally, the article discusses the benefits of differentiating between levels of congruence both in marketing research in general, and place brand management in particular.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology & Marketing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)184–202
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

ID: 41032015