How Much Does the Branding and Marketing of Places Cost?

In this guest post Renaud Vuignier, doctoral candidate at Lausanne University in Switzerland, shares his findings from review of literature on the costs of place marketing and branding.

„Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half” claimed John Wanamaker (1838-1922), considered one of the first business men to use an advertising agency.

How much money is invested in place marketing and place branding?

It is difficult to estimate the amount of money spent on place marketing, given the variety of sources (public, para-public and private) and time frames (project-based funding and regular funding). By way of illustration, here are some figures quoted in the literature:


Lucarelli & Berg (2011), discussing the Eurocities Questionnaire and the work of Seisdedos (2006), underscore that European cities spend an average of €400,000 on marketing activities, with the actual number varying from £130,000 to £10 million. US$6 million in Portugal, US$15 million in Italy’s Lombardy region.


Brittany’s brand strategy initiative, which seeks to create a more unified image for the area, cost €400,000 (Lupieri, 2013). France is also home to a campaign that will be discussed later called “Je veux Metz!” Costing €800,000, this was funded 80% by the French government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and 20% by the Metz metropolitan region (CapCom, 2011).


Berlin apparently spends €5 million per year on place marketing (Jacobsen, 2009, 2012), while the German state of Baden-Württemberg spends 7 million (Zenker, 2014, p. 158), its capital city of Stuttgart, 2.5 million and Hamburg, 4 million (Jacobsen, 2009).


In the United Kingdom between 1995 and 1996, 93% of local authorities engaged in place marketing activities, spending an average of £279,600 each (Young & Lever, 1997).


Kotler, Haider, & Rein (1993) estimate that 10% of all major newspaper advertising in the United States is used for place marketing. Communities and regions in the United States apparently spend US$538 million annually on place marketing (Jacobsen, 2009, citing Morgan, Pritchard, & Pride, 2002).


US$33 million in Singapore (Jacobsen, 2009).

Do you know other examples of budgets spent for the marketing and branding of cities, regions, destinations or countries? Leave a comment!


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  1. Sounds grossly inflated. Are you including internal communications with residents and stakeholders on local services and infrastructure developments? As “average” figures for promotion, I’m not seeing figures of this magnitude in tenders.

    • Hi Tom,

      thanks for the comment. I believe the figures Renaud found in literature might be about place marketing campaigns, rather than specific about place brand development and management. There really isn’t a lot of information out there, so would be great if you could share budgets from tenders you have come across recently?

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