Like cities and nations, rural places have adopted the practice of place branding to improve their reputation and increase their competitiveness to attract residents, tourists, and consumers. This review aims to synthesize case studies of rural place branding in order to identify different types of processes applied and relating them to the contextual factors underlying their application. A typology of five rural place branding processes (PBP) is proposed, based on the existence and dominance of a focal actor, and other actors involved in the process. Six contextual factors that affect the application of the various PBP are identified: (1) type of place distinguishing between places with or without administrative power, (2) initiative referring to the difference between political/administrative, community, mixed, (3) support base for the branding distinguishing between strong political/organizational, strong community, strong identity, (4) brand purpose, i.e., competitiveness, identity, conservation; (5) target group, and (6) type of place brand referring to the difference between sectoral and integrated place brands. Patterns of the contextual factors have been identified that seem to be typical for the application of the different PBP types. The findings provide guidance to rural place managers and communities to apply a PBP that matches their specific context.