Challenges in joint place branding in rural regions
Vuorinen, M., & Vos, M. (2013). Challenges in joint place branding in rural regions. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 9 (3), 154-163. doi:10.1057/pb.2013.18
Published inPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
© Palgrave Macmillan. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive version has been published by Palgrave Macmillan.
The purpose of this article is to explore joint place branding in rural regions, focusing on cooperation between the various stakeholders involved and on the salient features of rural regions that are used in the place branding process. Branding is conceptualized as a social process where brand value is co-created by the stakeholders. Place branding is seen as a participative process, bringing stakeholders together with the aim to strengthen the identity of the place. The fundamental question is how to build long-term commitment in a group of key stakeholders. Many sources discuss place branding for large cities, but rural regions have received little attention. The process of place branding was investigated for three rural regions in Finland. The cooperation in the network of actors was addressed through focus group interviews. Place branding in rural regions is a process needing the combined effort of various stakeholders. Although public organizations are needed to create the preconditions for a joint approach, the efforts of private operators engaged in mutually beneficial relationships are at the heart of successful place branding. The findings show that the establishment of a body to coordinate actions is essential for any place branding effort. It is also suggested that the meaning of landscape is especially important for place branding in rural regions. ...