Introduction The growing competition between cities has resulted in the increasing usage of marketing methods in their struggle to attract tourism, investment and residents. Even though the marketing of places is quite old and has been practiced since the 19th century (Ward, 1998), it used to be limited to place promotion rather than the implementation of marketing as a whole enterprise. However, the intensification of inter-city competition has resulted in a more conscious application of marketing by public planning agencies, and the treatment of marketing as a philosophy of place management, not just an additional instrument (Ashworth and Voogd, 1994). This gave rise to the concept of ‘entrepreneurialism’ and to the adoption of business methods to running cities (Hubbard and Hall, 1998). According to Ashworth and Voogd (1994), the increased interest in the application of marketing philosophy and techniques to places among both the practitioners and scholars was preceded by the development of non-profit organisations marketing, social marketing and image marketing. As Kavaratzis (2004) states, ‘The beginning lies in the realization that all encounters with the city take place through perceptions and images’. Thus, the rising concept of city branding, primarily derived from the emergence of corporate branding. ‘The brand embodies a whole set of physical and socio-psychological attributes and beliefs’ (Simoes and Dibb, 2001) and its goal is to influence these images and perceptions mentioned by Kavaratzis. Managing these images is related to what Graham (2002) called the interaction between the ‘external’ and the ‘internal’ city. Everything in the city communicates its image. Kavaratzis (2004) distinguishes between three types of image communication. Primary communication, which is an effect of all actions that did not have communication as their primary goal, meaning everything that is actually happening and can be visible in the city and the actions of its authorities. Secondary communication, being the intended, formal type of communication realised by the usage of different place marketing techniques. And finally, tertiary communication, that is the word of mouth, media communication about the city and the communication of the city’s competitors. Although the tertiary communication is not controllable, it can be influenced by the former two types and by city branding. Therefore, the aim of city branding is to reinforce positive tertiary communication and, as a result, enhance the city’s image.

Braun, E., Otgaar, A.
Business Economics
Erasmus School of Economics

Raubo, A. (2010, August 30). City Branding and its Impact on City’s Attractiveness for External Audiences. Business Economics. Retrieved from