A Co-creation Approach to Place Branding: How Participatory Marketing Processes Can Leverage Opportunities of Value Co-creation in Place Branding

Shoushan Tavlian

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Purpose: This paper explores the co-creation approach to place branding, through an investigation of how
elements of the value co-creation process can apply to place branding, taking into consideration the participatory and relational nature of stakeholder engagement.
Methodology: After an extensive literature review on value co-creation, a research synthesis is performed to translate key co-creation elements to place branding in a two-phase process. This leads to a preliminary conceptual framework, which is refined by an empirical questionnaire with seven place branding experts.
Findings: The value proposition is a catalyst for co-creation opportunities between stakeholders interacting in a place brand ecosystem of relationships. The inclusion and participation of stakeholders in the place branding process as co-creators is critical. A relational approach to value co-creation in place branding leads to more effective place brands and enhances overall brand value. Co-creation in place branding is defined, and five co-creation types are presented. A final conceptual framework for co-creation is proposed.
Research Limitations: The research is limited in its own scope by generalizing the findings based on a limited number of participants. Due to the contextual nature of both co-creation and place branding, conclusions in this field should be considered mindfully.
Practical Implication: Place branding managers can leverage co-creation opportunities to facilitate an improved place brand development process, which results in more effective and successful place brands, while retaining authenticity in their identity and image.
Originality: This study is original in combining literature of value co-creation, including relationship marketing and service systems theory, with place branding to propose a conceptual framework in a new area of research. The originality also comes from defining co-creation types for place branding.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages134
SupervisorsSebastian Zenker