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FROM COMPETING URBAN IMAGINARIES TO COHESIVE CITY BRANDS – NEW CHALLENGES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

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Author(s): Bogdana NEAMŢU | Cristina Ramona LEUCA

Journal: Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences
ISSN 1842-2845

Volume: 21;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 73;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: the international market place | brand | brand Identity | brand Image

ABSTRACT
The paper focuses on the issue of citybranding and endeavors to highlight several ofthe challenges that municipalities face in theprocess of creating a marketable brand for theircities. While there is only one “real” built city thereis a variety of urban imaginaries that coexist andoften compete against each other for dominance.Besides city agencies, the traditional actorsinvolved in the process of city marketing, thereare other entities like urban lifestyle magazines,businesses, services industry etc, which areinterested in marketing their own representationor imaginary of the city.The paper has a threefold structure. In thefirst section, it critically analyzes the concept ofcity branding and tries to highlight how it differsfrom traditional, product and corporate brandingstrategies. The second section discusses specificsteps and strategies that a city can undertake inorder to create a successful brand and positionssuch efforts in the broader category of localeconomic development tools. The authors concludethat city branding is more effective when integratedinto the strategic planning process undertaken bymunicipalities. The last section tries to raise someconcerns and challenges regarding the conceptof city branding. The analysis highlights the factthat it is more and more difficult to talk about asingle brand or representation of a city. As long asdifferent groups separated along the lines of race,ethnicity, education, income produce competingurban imaginaries, city branding is merely aboutone group imposing its representation over theothers
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