Institutions in the public sector are realising that places have an image and that marketing it systematically, into a consistent and holistic ‘brand’ to include tourism, inward investment, education, urban design, architecture etc. can be fruitful and effective (Klingmann, 2007; Vitiello and Willcocks, 2011).
Moreover, the place image can be seen as equity and becomes an important part of the competitive identity in a place marketing strategy (see Anholt, 2006, 2007). Places should be able to identify core competences and therefore they have the ability to use systematic image-based place marketing (Papadopoulos, 2004). Besides, it seems that there are three interrelated characteristics that challenge marketing strategies in the public sector, namely:
1) The lack of unity of purpose among constituencies;
2) Government’s lack of decision-making authority;
3) The difficulty in establishing measurable performance outcomes.
These three areas need to be addressed for an effective implementation of place branding programmes. At the same time, they need to be considered in relation to all the previous factors discussed above, such as consensus among stakeholders, unity, clarity and consistency in the vision, the positioning strategy, the branding message, etc.
Zaida Rodrigo, profesora de TSI-Turismo Sant Ignasi