Developing Rural Place Brands – How to Balance Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches

Project: Research

Project Details


Globalization increases the importance of place brands as an asset for rural (and urban) development as well as improved regional positioning and competitiveness. Place branding needs to bring together and negotiate the interests of various stakeholders, including municipalities, citizens, businesses, and employees. While in city branding strategies, usually a top-down approach is applied by a central organization (i.e., Destination Management Organization), such focal actor is regularly non-existent or non-identifiable in rural regions. Hence, their branding efforts are often rather bottom-up processes. As both top-down and bottom-up place branding development has advantages and disadvantages, it would be beneficial to balance both approaches in order to combine their respective benefits, especially for rural areas where the absence of a focal stakeholder leaves room for the emergence of different practices to cope with the challenge of stakeholder

The project contributes to the existing literature by identifying relevant gaps between stateof- the-art research on place branding and city and rural regions’ branding practices. Such evidence provides implications for place branding processes of rural areas by combining bottom-up and top-down approaches in order to increase their future attractiveness and competitiveness compared to metropolitan areas and provide high levels of civic pride, life quality, etc. for their inhabitants

Layman's description

Effective start/end date01/01/201831/12/2018