About TPBO

The Place Brand Observer celebrates and connects location champions and place changemakers.

Through our interviews we give trailblazing professionals an opportunity to share their insights, success strategies, dreams and ambitions.

Our panel of experts offers timely advice on trends, challenges and how to develop a strong community identity and location reputation.

Why here? In our location showcase series we take a close look at the “brand” – the identity, essence, vision and reputation of cities, regions and countries. We offer a glimpse behind the scenes of place brand vision and strategy: how does a location develop its identity and brand, what vision does it have for the future?

Florian Kaefer founded TPBO in 2014. His motivation back then: to connect place brand researchers with practitioners. During his doctoral studies in New Zealand he realized that most of the insights generated through research never made it to those who would benefit the most from them. So he created PlaceBrandObserver.com as a platform for sharing knowledge and connecting researchers with practitioners.

Although the site and network have grown considerably in reach and content over the last years, the core mission remains: to connect place champions and changemakers for the benefit of economic development, community well-being and sustainability.

A word about place branding

A place brand can be worth billions. It can bring focus and discipline to everything a local, regional or national government does, from economic development, talent attraction and attracting visitors to urban design and alleviating poverty.

Places, however, are complex, disparate, and often contradictory, which makes place branding enormously challenging. When it works, we reinforce our best selves in everything we say and do. When it doesn’t work, we suffer through random ideas, borrowed strategies, and bad guesses.

Place branding affects us all, as residents and as visitors, investors and business owners. That’s why we keep a close eye on the development of place branding as a field of research and practice, in addition to showcasing location strengths and opportunities.

“There’s a feeling of dynamism about The Place Brand Observer. It is comprehensive and diverse in the topics it covers. It’s just very impressive and, let’s face it, the fact it exists is a good sign for our industry and therefore our communities.” Andrew Hoyne

“What I like the most about The Place Brand Observer is that is it not simply a collection of copy-paste material but that it is built on the editor’s curiosity to understand more about place branding, from which we can all benefit.” Magdalena Florek

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