How to Measure Place Branding Impact Through Rankings and Indices

How to measure place branding impact is a question which often leads to discussion and which we have addressed before. In this post learn which place brand rankings and indices exist and how they can help you determine whether the branding strategy of your city, region, destination or country is making a positive difference.

This overview of place brand rankings and indices is based on the presentation by place reputation advisor Robert Govers at the City Nation Place Forum 2016, which took place in London last November.

For impact measurement and rankings, Govers distinguishes between the host (supply) and the guest (demand) side.


Measuring place branding impact: the ‘supply’ side

Place identity, product offers and marketing communications are three main aspects to keep in mind when measuring and monitoring the impact of place branding efforts.

Place identity

Indices for measuring the impact of your place branding work on place identity (local pride, achieved through local engagement):

Product offers

Indices for measuring place branding impact on product offers (economic performance, achieved through on-brand products):

Marketing communications

Indices for measuring place branding impact on marketing communications (stakeholder engagement, achieved through on-brand campaigns):


The ‘demand’ side

News media image

Indices for measuring place branding impact on news media image (positive coverage, achieved e.g. through press releases):

Guest behaviour

Indices for measuring place branding impact on guest behaviour (market loyalty, achieved e.g. through web analytics):

Social media image

Indices for measuring place branding impact on social media image (positive buzz, achieved through social media engagement):

Perceived image

Lastly, indices for measuring place branding impact on the overall, perceived image of a place (image change over time, reach):


Pros of using indices and rankings to determine impact of place branding work

Benefits of using indices and rankings for measuring impact of city, destination or country branding initiatives are the reduced complexity of those rankings, which makes it easier to communicate to policy makers and the general public.

Moreover, indices and rankings facilitate a longitudinal comparison – tracking place brand performance over time.

Cons of using indices to measure place branding impact

Some of the aspects which might limit the usefulness of rankings for determining the success of place branding include validity, simplicity, methodological flaws, misuse and bias, for instance if such indices are produced by consultancies with the purpose to attract new clients.


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The Editorial Team

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