Place Branding Accountability: Why and How to Measure Success

How do you define success in place branding and -marketing, and how can we measure it?

This is a frequent question and also one which Sebastian Zenker asked us to put to our international panel of place branding specialists for research which his team is currently undertaking at Copenhagen Business School. Diverse and intriguing, here are the panel's responses (in alphabetical order –  highlighted respondents are available for consulting, research or as speakers).

Our key takeaways:

  • Place branding has different objectives than place marketing, which means that success metrics differ.
  • Place branding success measurement involves asking a community's existing residents, businesses and other stakeholders, not just external audiences.
  • A set of clear key performance indicators needs to be articulated and agreed on before embarking on a place branding project.
  • Success in place branding is always relative - to other, competing cities, regions or countries. Benchmarking and comparing performance with those can help determine impact.
  • Economic indicators and quantitative data are important, but need to be complemented with qualitative indicators of place branding impact, such as changes in perceptions.

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The Editorial Team

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