CITY BRANDING: AN EFFECTIVE ASSERTION OF IDENTITY OR A TRANSITORY MARKETING TRICK?
Cities throughout Europe are increasingly importing the concept and techniques of product branding for use within place marketing, in pursuit of wider urban management goals, especially within the new conditions created by European integration. However, there is as yet little consensus about the nature of city branding, let alone its role in public sector urban planning and management. This exploratory paper will first, use contemporary developments in marketing theory and practice to suggest how product branding can be transformed into city branding as a powerful image-building strategy, with significant relevance to the contemporary city. Second, it will define city branding, as it is being currently understood by city administrators and critically examine its contemporary use so that a framework for an effective place branding strategy can be constructed.