The Place Brand Observatory

Welcome to the Place Brand Observatory: virtual research hub dedicated to monitoring and analysis of the performance, brand image and reputation of cities, destinations and countries.


Australia | China | Colombia | Germany | Estonia | Iceland | Russia | Turkey | USA


Amsterdam | Bangkok | Barcelona | Berlin | Buenos Aires | Copenhagen | Medellín | Melbourne | Mexico City | New York | Paris | São Paulo

Why the focus on place brands?

Globalization has led to fierce competition among places for attracting talent, investment, visitors or students. A strong brand – built over time and backed by policies and actions of a place’s elites – has become a hugely valuable asset for gaining and maintaining competitive advantage.

Slogans, logos and advertising techniques in many cases no longer work (if they ever did) to convince audiences of a city’s or country’s potential.

That’s why more and more places opt for the more robust approach of placemaking, guided by a careful, inclusive place brand strategy, plus continued brand management and monitoring (that’s what we have in mind when we write about “place branding”).

Place brand: the combination of a place’s actual performance and people’s perceptions of it (its image and – over time – reputation).

Why the focus on livability and sustainability?

In our city and country brand performance profiles you’ll notice a strong focus on livability and sustainability. The reason is that those are emerging as key factors for the ability of cities, regions and countries to build or maintain a strong reputation, and to be viewed as attractive places to visit, work or invest in.

Who is behind the Observatory?

Launched in January 2018, the Place Brand Observatory is the research branch of The Place Brand Observer. Both share the same editorial team, which supports and is supported by a growing team of independent research associates around the world. If you’d like to get involved in our place brand performance research, please get in touch.