Aleks Vladimirov Researcher Profile

Aleks Vladimirov is a PhD researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute of Place Management. His experience includes working in brand management, place management and digital user experience research. Aleks focuses his PhD research on decision-making related to place, especially how graduates choose where to live.

Aleks is originally from Bulgaria and currently based in Bristol, United Kingdom.

Which topics linked to place branding are you most passionate about, as researcher?

  • Talent Attraction
  • Place Branding
  • Place Marketing
  • Digital

5 hashtags which describe your research:

#heuristics #uxdesign #placebranding #decisionmaking #behaviouraleconomics

Key insights from your research so far?

People are not rational but that’s OK.

Paying close attention to the user experience on your digital platforms, and doing iterative amends based on user testing can inform strategy and be a cheap substitute for a lot of overwhelming data. We know place is not a website, but it is a first impression.

Observing people using poorly designed digital journeys feels a lot like helping a tourist who has lost their way in an unfamiliar and confusing place…. Always makes me think if we use similar mental machinery for navigating the world as we do a website… we must do… we don’t have much other mental machinery but our own to use.

When you’re not researching….

I am a passionate sports fanatic, having done all sorts from basketball, to ultra marathon mountain running to embarrassingly low skills but a lot of passion for calisthenics, cross fit, all sorts of weigh training and generally constantly being active. Or also beer, beer is a hobby too.

If money and time would be no issue – which research questions would you work on next?

  • What is the good life?
  • Is Buddhism better than Positivism as a method of navigating the world?
  • Why are how questions so much easier to answer than why questions?

Your advice for young scholars and emerging researchers:

Think of your research as a library – you may know a lot but if it is not organised with an index of sorts your knowledge will be hard to retrieve.

Cross conceptual bridges when you have to – if you only know something like saturation of data gathering conceptually the first time you experience it, make a mental note and never again ask how many people you should ask to generalise your findings.

Practice your skills – research is easier to learn as a craft skill from more experienced researchers like any other profession, science isn’t going to drop into your head from the ether.

Your latest presentations and publications:

Vladimirov and Warnaby (pending): Place branding and locational choice – a behavioural  economics perspective.

AdaptInc Places Podcast available on

Connect with Aleks Vladimirov on LinkedIn or contact us for an introduction.