Meet Sonya Hanna, Lecturer in Marketing at Bangor University, Wales (United Kingdom). In this interview, Dr. Hanna introduces her Strategic Place Brand Management Model, reflects on the current state of place branding research and how the digital age has changed the practice of place promotion.
- The basics – what place branding is all about;
- Challenges facing place brand developers in the digital age;
- How strategic place brand management models can help cities, regions or destinations become and remain competitive;
- Some of the differences between theory and practice.
Sonya, in your view, what is place branding all about?
Place branding is about generating visibility and recognition, in various contexts for a multitude of stakeholders. It is about the coordination of a coherent message grounded in an identity that not only resonates with the places’ stakeholders, but one that is also rooted in the places history and character. This in turn draws our attention to the wide range of networks and planning processes that influence a place’s offerings and composition, all of which are about building relationships with the aim of creating supply and demand, and thus economic prosperity.
In developing the place brand, practitioners should engage in and focus on the interactions between these various relationships and their manifestations, for the brand to remain competitive yet resonating.
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