Meet Cecilia Pasquinelli, Postdoctoral Researcher at Gran Sasso Science Institute, in Italy. Cecilia is specialized in place branding, geographical associations of brands, urban competitiveness and cultural economy. In this interview she tells us how place branding thinking and practice differ across countries, and introduces us to the concepts of place brand co-opetition and networks of brands.
- What “co-opetition” means in place branding and its challenges;
- The role of creativity and innovation in place branding;
- The concept “network of brands” and how to measure success of branding initiatives;
- The differences between place branding theory and practice;
- Different application of place branding in various countries.
Cecilia, do you remember who or what got you interested in place branding?
The first time I heard of “place branding” was in 2007 when I was working in the MAIN Lab of Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy, where took my first steps in academic research. Together with the research team, we started a discussion on the ‘weaknesses of a strong brand’ – that of my own region, Tuscany in central Italy. During that time I learned something that has influenced my research significantly: the importance of reflecting on the meaning of place branding in the framework of local and regional development and the linkages between place brands and regional industrial identities.