Rural place branding from a multi-level perspective: a Danish example

Barbora Gulisova*, Chris Horbel, Egon Noe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Few studies have looked at the interaction of place branding practices of geographically linked places. Moreover, the different administrative contexts of the linked places and the resulting different place branding approaches have not been taken into consideration. This study provides insight on the interactions of the brands and branding initiatives of higher-level administrative rural places and lower-level places within their territory. A qualitative study was conducted based on the cases of three Danish municipalities and eight smaller places within them. Although none of the vertically linked places under investigation had applied a strategic approach to manage place brand architecture, four archetypes of interaction between the place brands at the different vertical levels are identified. The findings provide guidance for place branding officials and others involved in the initiatives regarding the role the higher-level place brand can play in the lower level’s place branding, while making the lower level aware that their place branding should also focus on building good reputation towards the higher-level place. The study further reveals challenges regarding the strategic implementation of place brand architecture and highlights important areas for future research on the topic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Pages (from-to)231-248
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Place brand architecture
  • Place branding
  • Reputation
  • Rural places
  • Vertical levels


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