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Five typical city branding mistakes: Why cities tend to fail in implementation of rebranding strategies


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City branding has become a widespread phenomenon throughout the world and relevant agencies such as municipalities, local government, media and commercial firms spend large sums of money and vast efforts in order to brand or rebrand cities. Despite these efforts, it appears that many city branding campaigns have not met their objectives. This conclusion resulted from studies of the branding/rebranding campaigns in ten Israeli and several US and European cities. Residents of these cities were questioned about their opinions of the branding campaigns. This was followed by an examination of the branding processes that were undertaken by the sampled city management. Protocols of meetings held to plan the campaigns were examined, followed by in-depth interviews of main decision makers. Five categories of mistakes were identified and analysed. As a result, suggestions are made as to how to avoid such mistakes in the future.
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Keywords: city branding; municipality; planning; strategies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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  • Journal of Brand Strategy is the essential professional journal publishing in-depth, peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of brands.

    Guided by a senior Editorial Board, consisting of leading branding experts, each quarterly 100-page issue – published in print and online – provides detailed, practical articles from leading branding professionals on innovative strategies, techniques and trends, together with the latest applied research in branding and detailed analysis of how leading brands are managed around the world. It does not publish advertising and all content is peer-reviewed to ensure that it is of direct, practical relevance to those working in the field.

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