Place Branding as Efficient Management Tool for Local Government

Rodica PETREA, Dănuț PETREA, Paul Emil OLĂU, Luminița FILIMON

Abstract


The economic liberalism, globalization and more recently the economic crisis are general phenomena leading to changes of territorial management practices. Within these practices, place marketing and branding are of crucial importance in promoting an image of the city and bringing some added value to a place. Although an emerging challenging problem for local authorities, few scholars are currently addressing the subject, in terms of delivering a branding modus operandi for the practitioners, be they local authorities or private agencies. The present paper conducts an in-depth analysis of the most recent writings showing how product marketing techniques apply to place marketing, with an emphasis on city branding, presenting the manner in which the place branding process was improved in two of the most representative cities of Transylvania: Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca. The paper’s main objective is to highlight the role of territorial marketing which can become, through one of its components, namely place branding, an important trigger for the local communities development by the means of strategic planning. In this respect, the present work displays an overview of some of the most illustrative theoretical models regarding city branding, an insight on the Romanian city branding process within the two aforementioned cities and, finally, some brief recommendations regarding the place and the role of branding process for local authorities. The paper assumes that although place branding is an efficient tool for promoting a territory’s identity (already proven in several European cities), Romania is at the beginning of this process. The few significant achievements (the ones from Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca being the most notable) still cannot make the most of their urban identities and values, neither at national, nor at international level. Last but not least, this kind of papers might raise some awareness among local stakeholders on the importance of these somehow new techniques.


Keywords


strategic planning; territorial management; place marketing; place branding; local government.

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