The concept of place branding has emerged in recent years as a powerful instrument and it is becoming more popular all over the world. Place branding is important today because in the global marketplace of instant communication and growing democracy, the opinions of the people count as much as the opinions of the powers in charge. As a consequence of expanding globalization, the need for place branding is more important than ever. Having a positive brand is necessary to compete with other nations, states, regions or cities. This resembles corporate and service branding. In any marketplace, the corporation or service must be seen as desirable to thrive. The marketing techniques used in corporate arenas have similar focuses as city marketing. Place marketing process starts with analyzing market opportunities, developing marketing strategies and implementing them. The main elements of the place marketing process, also known as the framework and elements, are divided into three components: producers, the market and the consumers. It is the responsibility of place marketing to transfer an identity of the city into something desirable to the residents, visitors and investors. For example, Barcelona used the 1992 Olympic games as a branding opportunity. Landmarks, such as the Sagrada Familia, were referred to during the games and a new brand image started being re-created across the world. Just having an event as important as the Olympics is a type of branding because it gives of the image of Barcelona being able to sustain such a large event and have support of the residents. It gave Barcelona the opportunity to show different aspects of what it had to offer including the culture, history, food, language and blossoming areas within the city. The successful development of a place can be done through improving the quality of living, increasing investments, and attracting individuals and business, which can be done by looking at a place in four ways: place as character, as a fixed environment, a service provider and as entertainment and recreation. The aesthetics of the place creates an image of what the place has to offer. The development of place based on infrastructure and design require the availability of goods and services, thus inviting those industries to locate in the city. This in turn is another way of city marketing. If word spreads that a specific place carries a product or service, simply that will attract people to invest their time and money there. Convention centers, restaurants and both public and private investors attract more people to enjoy the city by providing entertainment and recreation with modernized parks and providing things for the community to do. Place branding is one of the most important components of place marketing. Reputation is the most important thing in both business and personal relations. A bad reputation, or brand, can ruin a person or place’s future. Places can be branded based on a product or service offered. When you think of cheese steaks, one associates Philadelphia. This is a branding image. Place branding focuses on increasing the attractiveness of a place as well. Geographical locations are often branded like a product or service. The name of the place is then associated with that specific brand. For example, the clothing company Mango has “Barcelona” written on the bottom of its signs and bags. Barcelona is the only city that has legal rights to do this. By doing so, both corporation and place are branding each other. When one sees a Mango outfit, the association is to Barcelona and vise versa. In doing this, both reputations are working with each other. Developing a strong brand needs a clear brand identity and brand position. Successful place branding requires an understanding of how to develop the brand identity of the place through understanding the people, history and future goals. Brand identity refers to the image the place has in the marketplace. Brand...
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