Place Branding Bookshelf

Place branding might sound complex, but it’s really about how we see and understand cities, regions, or countries. We’ve put together a list of great books for anyone who wants to learn more about this topic.

These books are perfect for professionals or students who are curious about how to create and maintain a good reputation and identity for a place. Our editorial team has carefully selected each book, and they are all written by respected members of our Who’s Who community of place brand professionals.

We believe these books will make it easier for you to grasp what place branding is all about. They’ll guide you through the steps of building and keeping a strong and believable brand for any place. Happy reading!

Browse all book reviews by TPBO here


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

By Florian Kaefer (Springer, 2021)

Written by the creator of The Place Brand Observer and inspired by hundreds of conversations with leading place makers and shapers, this professional guidebook highlights brand development and management for cities, regions, countries, and destinations.

An Insider’s Guide to Place Branding 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

Nation Branding and International Politics

Christopher Browning (2023)

In Nation Branding and International Politics Christopher Browning argues that international relations should take nation branding seriously. Nation branding not only involves the issues of culture, identity, and status – which are of principal concern to IR – but it is also a different and potentially fruitful way of reconceptualizing statehood.

Mobilizing work on ontological security, anxiety, status, and distinction, and grounding the analysis in a broader historical context, Browning finds that nation branding is politically significant, though not necessarily for the reasons its advocates claim. Specifically, the book raises important questions about nation branding’s influence on the constitution of national identity, the reframing of citizenship, and the topography of contemporary geopolitics.

More about the book here

Place Branding for Small Cities Regions Downtowns Bill Baker 2023Place 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.

Read our review of the book here

Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice

Edited by Keith Dinnie (2022, Third Edition)

Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice provides a theoretical framework, alongside insightful examples from the practice of nation banding, in which the principles of brand strategy and management are applied to countries globally. This new edition has been comprehensively updated and its influential original framework modified to reflect the very latest changes in the field. It remains an accessible blend of theory and practice rich with international examples and contributions.

More about the book here

Nation Branding in Europe

Nation Branding in Europe book cover

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.

Nation Branding in Europe is valuable supplementary reading for advanced undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students interested in nation branding and will appeal to students from marketing, communications, and international relations disciplines. Outside of academia, the book will be of interest to those working in the areas of public diplomacy and strategic communications, as well as public relations and branding practitioners involved in designing nation branding campaigns.

Read our review of the book here

Building Brands: What Really Matters

Ed Burghard (2021)

Building Brands: What Really Matters demystifies the concept of branding, making the complex concepts within the marketing discipline simple to understand.

The book covers branding in a way business people can easily relate to. Ed Burghard offers real-life examples of how he has successfully applied branding concepts to his work at Procter & Gamble over his three decade marketing career. The templates for developing a brand strategy are easy to understand and implement.

Read our review of 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.

The book integrates new thinking on the image, marketing, and branding of places at all levels, from town squares to cities and countries, and of the products and peoples associated with them, thereby bridging the ‘country’ and ‘place’ silos in place-related research and practice. Insightful contributions from top scholars reflect fresh theorizing and provide a critical appraisal of conventional wisdom by juxtaposing intriguing contexts, questioning commonplace practices, and challenging methodologies and theoretical assumptions.

Read our review of 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.

Read our review of 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.

Read our review of the book here and visit

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.

Read our review of 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.

Read our review of the second volume of the book here. Our review of the first volume here.

Imaginative 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.

Read our review of the book here and visit

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.

Read our review of 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.

Read our review of 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.

Read our review of the book here

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.

Read our review of 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.

More about the book here

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.

More about the book here

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.

More about the book here

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.

More about the book here

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.

More about the book here


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.

More about the book here

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.

More about the book here

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.

More about the book here

Are you an author or do you know of a book that would enrich the knowledge of place branding professionals? We’re always on the lookout for fresh insights and perspectives in this field. Share your recommendations with us and help expand our community’s resources! Contact us here