The discipline of place branding is getting increased attention worldwide, as the competition between places, cities and destinations requires new perspectives on marketing and advertising. In EnergyMetropolis Esbjerg, the place brand was created in 2011 as part of the strategy of strengthening the municipality of Esbjerg’s external reputation. However, the EnergyMetropolis has not yet properly made its way into the minds of neither Danes in general nor the locals. The overall subject of this master thesis is place branding in a stakeholder perspective. The research question seeks to find out which factors that contribute to the stakeholders’ identification with a place brand. Through a case study of EnergyMetropolis the stakeholders of Esbjerg municipality’s perception of and identification with the place brand EnergyMetropolis has been explored. The data collection has implied nine qualitative in-depth interviews with citizens, companies, media and Esbjerg municipality. A social constructionist approach has helped gain an understanding of how the stakeholders see the brand EnergyMetropolis and identify with it. The study of stakeholders in EnergyMetropolis shows that companies and media are positive towards the place brand and supports the further use of it. However, the rather large group of internal stakeholders, the citizens, feel excluded and confused about the identity of EnergyMetropolis. They find the place brand hard to identify with and do not think that there is coherence between the overall aims of the place brand and the actual things happening in the municipality of Esbjerg. The study of the stakeholders has been related to theories of stakeholder involvement and analysis, the nature of the place brand and place identity. The analysis shows that stakeholder involvement is very important and that EnergyMetropolis is facing several challenges related to that. Lack of substance in the strategy of the place brand and a gap between the desired identity of the place brand and the actual place identity are contributing factors to why stakeholders do not identify with the place brand. The conclusion is that the factors that contribute to a stakeholder’s identification with a place brand are a match between place brand and place identity based on a full inclusion of all types of stakeholders in the place branding process. Additionally, as the place branding moves forward the visual, verbal and behavioural expressions of the place brand must align and make sense related to the place identity.
|Educations||, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||219|