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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Rural Place Branding Processes: Dimensions and Contextual Factors

Published: May 28, 2019


Barbora Gulisova, University of Southern Denmark; Chris Horbel, University of Southern Denmark; Egon Noe, University of Southern Denmark


Rural place branding; Branding process; Context


Place branding research has mostly studied countries, cities, and tourism destinations. However, rural places are diverse and the branding processes must account for the specific characteristics of the place. This study therefore aims at identifying the types of place branding processes applied in rural places and the factors that determine their choice. A conceptual model of the main dimensions of place branding processes including actor participation, branding perspective, and local embeddedness was developed. An exploratory study using focus groups with representatives from nine rural places in Denmark revealed that rural place branding processes differ considerably in terms of the dimensions of our model. The initiator of the branding process, the goal, the administrative context as well as existing place-related brands were identified as the four main determinants of the type of branding process applied. The findings support local decision-makers in choosing an appropriate place branding approach to achieve intended goals.