Beyond the City Brand: A Co-ownership Model Structuring Internal Intentions and External Perceptions


  • Carmouze Laura
  • Alaux Christophe
  • Cuenca Christine


  • City Brand Strategy
  • Brand Management
  • Co-ownership
  • European metropolises

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In a globalizing word, cities are under pressure and have to face an increasing competition. Territories are considered as strategic places using public marketing and branding processes. Indeed, city brand strategy defined by internal stakeholders (i.e. managers) can improve attractiveness by affecting the representation of external stakeholders (i.e. residents, companies and visitors). In a broad evolutionary shift, we consider the city brand in a progressive approach, and the city brand co-ownership as a collaborative and participatory process. The gap identified in the literature refers to the differences and the matches between the city brand strategy and the city brand perceptions. Indeed, the research question of this paper is: how city brand strategy from internal stakeholders is linked with city brand perceptions from external stakeholders? We opted for an exploratory and qualitative research design with a multiple case study targeting three European metropolises: Amsterdam, Lyon, and Metz. Public reports (i.e. secondary data) and 200 answers from a French representative sample about the city brand perceptions (i.e. primary data) are analyzed with a thematic content analysis. We propose a dynamic city brand co-ownership model within the relationship between the city brand strategy and the city brand perceptions are moderated by structuring factors.

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