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Challenging assumptions about residents’ engagement with place branding

Andrea Insch () and Trudie Walters ()
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Andrea Insch: University of Otago
Trudie Walters: University of Otago

Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 2018, vol. 14, issue 3, 152-162

Abstract: Abstract The objective of this paper is to challenge three implicit assumptions about residents’ engagement with city branding: first, that disengaged residents may not be attached to their place; second, that residents’ desire engagement with official place branding; and third, that residents perceive place branding is appropriate for their city. In-depth semi-structured interviews were held with 22 residents of Dunedin, New Zealand, to examine their place attachment, place identity, understanding of city branding and attitudes toward their city’s brand. To assist residents to articulate their feelings about Dunedin, a visual elicitation method was used to assist them to articulate their place identity and place attachment. The findings identify tensions between residents’ place identity, their understanding of city branding and attitudes toward their city’s brand, underpinned by their attachment to the city. Many residents expressed place-protective attitudes towards anticipated changes to the social fabric of their community, which they perceive to be consequences of this urban governance strategy. Local authorities may need to re-think their adoption of place branding as a ‘one-size fits all’ solution to place management and find alternatives which promote the perceived uniqueness of the city while reinforcing residents’ multiple and complex place identities.

Keywords: Place branding; City branding; Residents; Place identity; Engagement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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