Place Branding Bookshelf

Place branding is one of those terms which are often misunderstood. We recommend the following books for professionals or students interested in developing and managing the image and identity (=brand) of a city, region or country (in chronological order). Each of those will help you understand the fascinating and complex activity of creating and maintaining a credible, successful place brand.

Latest books reviewed by TPBO:

An Insider’s Guide to Place Branding – Shaping the Identity and Reputation of Cities, Regions and Countries

By Florian Kaefer (Springer, 2021)

This professional guidebook highlights brand development and management for cities, regions, countries, and destinations. It presents a unique collection of expert interviews, combined with latest research insights and thoughts on the most relevant topics and trends linked to the reputation, brand development and management of cities, regions, countries and destinations.

More about the book here

Place Branding for Small Cities, Regions & Downtowns

Bill Baker (4th edition, March 2023)

Already considered a classic among managers and marketers of towns and cities, Bill Baker’s book Destination Branding for Small Cities was an instant hit. With his new book, Place Branding for Small Cities, Regions & Downtowns: The Essentials for Successful Destinations, he takes the topic to the next level, offering much needed advice to regions and neighborhoods, in addition to cities. And like his last book, this one is refreshingly easy to read and goes straight to the point.

More about the book here and on Amazon

Nation Branding in Europe

Edited by Joao Freire (2022)

Part of the Routledge Focus series on Nation Branding, edited by Keith Dinnie, Nation Branding in Europe offers a very accessible account on the nation brand strategies of 12 European countries, shared by leading scholars.

More about the book here

Building Brands: What Really Matters

Ed Burghard (2021)

It’s good to see more and more books dedicated to the art of building and maintaining strong place brands. Some are academic, others brutally practical – like this book by Ed Burghard. Very accessible and down to the point.

More about the book here

Marketing Countries, Places, and Place-associated Brands

Dr. Nicolas Papadopoulos and Dr. Mark Cleveland (Editors, 2021)

This academic book on the marketing of places is a refreshing read. Boasting contributions from many of world’s leading place marketing thinkers, the book is essential in that it reflects current thinking on the topic, often with a (most welcome) critical eye.

More about the book here

A Research Agenda for Place Branding

Edited by Dominic Medway, Gary Warnaby and John Byrom (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021)

This cutting-edge Research Agenda for Place Branding explores ideas and debates that inform a refreshing take on the future of place branding and marketing. It argues that we are at a juncture where the logical and sensible step is to push the ‘reset button’ on such activity and fully reconsider its purpose and goals.

More about the book here

Brand Singapore

Buck Song KOH (3rd Edition, 2020)

This new book analyses the initial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the key takeaways from how Singapore responded, and the challenges and opportunities ahead in nation branding. Altogether, this third edition adds 30 per cent more content than the previous one.

More about the book here.

The Good Country Equation

Simon Anholt (2020)

Why doesn’t the world work? Why, despite all the power, technology, money and knowledge that humanity has accumulated, are we are still unable to defeat global challenges like climate change, war, poverty, migration, extremism, and inequality? Find out in this book by Simon Anholt, in which he shares his experiences and learnings from having served as an advisor to the governments of over 50 countries around the world. Spoiler alert: includes funny anecdotes and much food for thought.

More about the book here and on

Nation Brand Builders

José Filipe Torres (July 2019)

Nation Brand Builders is the title of a book by José Filipe Torres, CEO of Bloom Consulting, with a foreword by Malcolm Allan. The book offers an entertaining journey through the sometimes nebulous world of nation and place branding – a personal account based on José’s extensive experience in the field as a consultant to many cities, regions and countries.

More about the book here

The Place Economy volume 2The Place Economy

Andrew Hoyne (2019, 2016)

Volume 2 of The Place Economy focuses on the micro – from nations to neighborhoods, countries to communities. Close to 60 experts from eight different countries explore what can be achieved via high-quality visioning, placemaking, planning and design. The book examines how spaces are used, analyzing the things required to meet community needs, from residents and visitors to commercial entities and private individuals.

More about the second volume of the book here. Our review of the first volume here.

Imaginative Communities book by Robert GoversImaginative Communities

Robert Govers (2018)

Imaginative Communities is written for readers who want to understand why some communities, cities, regions and countries are admired and others are not; for anyone who feels that the way in which their community is perceived is too negative, clichéd or stereotypical; and for those people who want to find out what can be done about it.

More about the book here and on

Now also available in Spanish (translated by Jordi de San Eugenio Vela) and Portuguese (translated by Caio Esteves).

Innovating Talent AttractionInnovating Talent Attraction

Nikolaj Lubanski, Marcus Andersson and Morten King-Grubert (2016)

Access to skilled competences is a key challenge for economic development and growth. This book is pioneering the field of innovating talent attraction. It is the first practitioner’s guide on how to form a strategy and develop operational activities in order to attract and retain international competences.

More about the book here

Nation Branding -book by Keith Dinnie 2nd editionNation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice

Keith Dinnie (2nd Edition, 2015)

Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice (2011) was the ground-breaking first textbook to provide an overview of this recently established but fast-growing practice, in which the principles of brand management are applied to countries rather than companies. This new edition has been comprehensively revised and its influential original framework modified to reflect the very latest changes to this still-developing field. It remains an accessible blend of theory and practice rich with international examples and contributions.

More about the book here

Inter-Regional Place Branding book by Sebastian Zenker and Björn Jacobsen (Eds)Inter-Regional Place Branding: Best Practices, Challenges and Solutions

Sebastian Zenker, Björn Jacobsen (Eds. 2015)

This book examines and clarifies key aspects of regional branding with the special focus of inter-regional brands. Today regions are in strong competition for companies, tourists and most of all talent. In order to differentiate one region from another, regional developers, politicians and planners increasingly focus on establishing the region as a brand.

A theoretically well informed but practically oriented overview of this phenomenon – including numerous cases and best practices.

Rethinking Place Branding book reviewRethinking Place Branding: Comprehensive Brand Development for Cities and Regions

Mihalis Kavaratzis, Gary Warnaby, Gregory Ashworth (Eds. 2014)

As place branding has become a widely established but contested practice, there is a dire need to rethink its theoretical foundations and its contribution to development and to re-assert its future. This important new book advances understanding of place branding through its holistic, critical and evidence-based approach.

More about the book here

City Branding Theory and Cases by Keith DinnieCity Branding: Theory and Cases

Keith Dinnie (2011)

The practice of city branding is being adopted by increasing numbers of city authorities around the world and it is having a direct impact on public and private sector practice.

The author captures this emerging phenomenon in a way that blends a solid theoretical and conceptual underpinning together with relevant real life cases.

Destination Brands - Managing Place ReputationDestination Brands: Managing Place Reputation

Nigel Morgan, Annette Pritchard, Roger Pride (2011)

This textbook asks whether tourist destinations get the reputations they deserve and uses topical case studies to discuss brand concepts and challenges. It tackles how place perceptions are formed, how cities, regions and countries can enhance their reputations as creative, competitive destinations, and the link between competitive identity and strategic tourism policy making.

Places - Identity, Image, Reputation by Simon AnholtPlaces: Identity, Image and Reputation

Simon Anholt (2010)

This new collection of essays by the ‘father of place branding’, Simon Anholt, reveals compelling and essential new thinking on the nature of national reputation. Places depend on their reputations for almost everything in the modern world: tourism, foreign investment, the respect and interest of the international media, attracting talented immigrants and students, cultural exchanges, engaging peacefully and productively with the governments of other places.

Place Branding by Robert Govers and Frank GoPlace Branding: Glocal, Virtual and Physical Identities. Constructed, Imagined and Experienced

Robert Govers and Frank Go (2009)

The topic of place branding is moving from infancy to adolescence. Many cities, and nations have already established their place brand and this well documented new book brings the fundamentals of place branding together in an academic format but is at the same time useful for practice.

Competitive Identity book by Simon AnholtCompetitive Identity: The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions

Simon Anholt (2007)

Ever since Simon Anholt coined the phrase ‘Nation Branding, there has been more and more interest in the idea that countries, cities and regions can build their brand images. This authoritative book considers how commercial brand management can really be applied to places and shows how places can build and sustain their competitive identity.

Imagined Communities nationalism book by Benedict AndersonImagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism

Benedict Anderson (2006, revised edition)

Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson’s brilliant book on nationalism, first appeared in 1983 and is widely considered the most important book on the subject. In this revised edition, Anderson updates and elaborates on the core question: what makes people live, die and kill in the name of nations?

Anderson explores the way communities were created by the growth of the nation-state, the interaction between capitalism and printing, and the birth of vernacular languages-of-state.

Brand America book by Simon Anholt and Jeremy HildrethBrand America: The Mother of All Brands

Simon Anholt, Jeremy Hildreth (2004)

Offering a different, but significant, perspective on how America shapes the world, this book describes the ways in which America has become the largest and most powerful brand in the global marketplace. The three most profitable business sectors—entertainment, merchant banking, and information technology—are discussed along with the positive branding attributes that America has in abundance, including sporting prowess, technological achievement, wealth, and definitive youth lifestyle.

Brand New Justice by Simon AnholtBrand New Justice: How Branding Places and Products Can Help the Developing World

Simon Anholt (2004)

Brand New Justice systematically analyses the success stories of the Top Thirteen nations, demonstrating that their wealth is based on buying raw materials and manufacturing cheaply in third world countries, adding value through finishing, packaging and marketing and then selling the branded product on to the end-user at a hugely inflated price.

Examining activities in India, Thailand, Russia and Africa among others, Anholt shows the risks, challenges and pressures inherent in ‘turning the tide’, but above all he demonstrates the very real possibility of enlightened capitalism working as a force for good globally.

Marketing Places Book by Philip KotlerMarketing Places

Philip Kotler, Ronald Haider, Irving Rein (2002)

In this first book on place marketing, Philip Kotler argues that thousands of “places” – cities, states, and nations – are in crisis, and can no longer rely on national industrial policies, such as federal matching funds, as a promise of jobs and protection.

The authors show that places must, like any market-driven business, become attractive “products” by improving their industrial base and communicating their special qualities more effectively to their target markets. From studies of cities and nations throughout the world, Kotler offer a systematic analysis of why so many places have fallen on hard times, and make recommendations on what can be done to revitalize a place’s economy.

You have written – or know about – a book which you think would be of interest to place branding professionals? Let us know!