CALL FOR PAPERS - Special Issue 2021

Brazilian Journal of Marketing — Revista Brasileira de Marketing — ReMARK



Special Issue – v. 20


"Which place?" The Future Pathways of Place Branding


Guest Editors

Dra. Fabiana Mariutti

Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, Brazil

Place Branding Track Coordinator at EMA and EnANPAD  

@place_branding Brazilian Research Group


Dra. Magdalena Florek

Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland

International Place Branding Association


Deadline for full article submissions: July 3rd, 2021 - Deadline extended August 3rd, 2021

                                       Submissions closed                                      

Submissions click here

 This special edition of this Brazilian Journal of Marketing — Revista Brasileira de Marketing ReMark is aimed at improving our knowledge by exploring the interdisciplinary complexity and practice of place branding in Brazilian contexts, towards the advancement of applied social sciences literature. Unlike in Europe, North America, or Asia, in Brazil, empirical research is at the initial stage of looking for academic publications on building place brands, place brand marketing and management. A place brand refers to a construct conceptually and empirically diversified, calls for establishing the bases and theoretical and methodological framework, be it in empirical academic studies, advisory projects, or public policies. The idea behind this upcoming compendium of articles offered by ReMark stems from the need to conceptualise a place brand in Brazilian studies on the subject with special emphasis placed on research which seems to be at the very heart of place marketing. These places, public or private, compete in a local, regional, and/or global market in the marketplace and/or in market space.

 Two notions coined in administration sciences: place marketing and place brand management by supplementing each other theoretically and methodologically. While both approaches reinforce the planning and reaping the benefits related to the identity of a local brand, they are strategically different. Place branding is a process of designing, planning, building, and communicating a brand based on its identity in order to achieve the relevant image and competitiveness level of a specific place name based on the process of exchange defined by the rules of marketing. Brand management relates to the process of maintaining, adjustment, and enhancing a brand reputation over time to maintain the desired associations with a brand in the minds of the place stakeholders, internal and external alike, in the micro, mezzo and / or macro. This is a multi-channel approach which, in a strategic way, conveys place brand values in the target market.

 Naturally, place brand research is not a goal in itself but rather, a strategic and procedural means to a more comprehensive and influential purpose, specifically contributing to the development of theory and practice of the local sustainable management and development of a place-focal point (e.g. a neighbourhood, a city, a region, a country) and its components (e.g., a shop, a gallery, a shopping mall, a museum, a theatre, a square, a church, a hospital, a street, an avenue, a stadium, an airport, a university, a road, a motorway, a street). While place marketing has not gained such a scientific recognition worldwide, place branding has undoubtedly triumphed in the literature. The term place marketing has been used in a context of marketing activities related to building a place brand or in the context of aspects broader than a place brand. On the other hand, the term place branding refers to creating a place image and reputation by communicating what a place is about with reference to its internal strengths and capabilities (an inside-out-approach), enabling the external or internal audience to participate and get strategically involved in creating place value (an outside-in approach). As a result, the application of place branding is to ensure lasting competitive advantage owing to assets based on values which underpin management of a place to spark off associations with the brand and forge a bond between a place and its stakeholders.

 Consequently, place branding and its applicable conceptualisations as well as theoretical and practical specifications will be put forward as the basis of this invitation. While international literature prioritises studies of cities, regions, and countries — research into museums, squares and streets have also been subjects of academic studies and consultancies seeking to understand or measure the status quo and the management of a place brand. Notably, with respect to the audiences impacted by or impacting the development of a place brand, these are multiple and varied. Specifically, they act as external stakeholders (for example, investors, tourists, expatriates, and immigrants, to name a few) or internal stakeholders (for example, citizens, residents, public officials, civil servants, government authorities, brand managers, marketing professionals, designers, and public relations, to name a few). These two groups constantly co-create a place brand, simultaneously as the producers and consumers of a place. As such, the stakeholders’ contribution becomes one of a current topic in place branding literature. There is evidence that brand positioning initiatives in which a wide range of local actors (public and private stakeholders) are involved and integrated tend to be the most effective.

 In Brazilian literature, a prevalence of studies on a country brand based primarily on the theory of the country-of-origin effect or based on brand theories of classic authors is observed. In a recent Brazilian study on an analytical-reflective landscape, studies published between 1999 and 2019 were identified in the annals of the three most relevant conferences in Brazil — Seminars in Administration (SemeAD), organized by the Faculty of Economics, Administration and Accounting (FEA) of the University of São Paulo and the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Graduate Programs in Administration (EnANPAD), and the Marketing Conference (EMA), both coordinated by organizing institution ANPAD. Interestingly, for the last 20 years, eighteen articles were found from these three most important academic events in Brazil, with country-level studies prevailing, followed by cities and regions, two of which specified place marketing (SemeAD 2016 and EMA 2018) and one from place branding (EMA 2018). However, there was an increase in studies on this theme from 2014 to 2018. As search keywords for this study, they were designated as “place marketing” and “place branding”; studies related to tourist destinations, shopping malls, stores, supermarkets, street markets, and football stadiums, among other places, are assigned to the exclusion criteria because they are not based on the theme of place branding.

 The global academic community has concluded that place branding practice reveals significant misunderstandings which restrict place branding’s role and possible development. In Brasil, the governments, states, city offices, research institutes and local communities have started implementing strategies and activities related to local branding and/or marketing. The involved bodies include the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, the Brazilian Society for Progress of Science, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Geographical Indication), the Special Secretariat for Social Communication and the Brazilian Support for Micro and Small Enterprises. Researchers agree that the activities accompanying place branding require a scientific basis underpinned by intensive, complex, and regular research carried out by individuals who understand both the process of place branding and the place(s) in question. In summary, it requires inclusive and democratic place branding. Another comment in this context pertains to the need of regular evaluation of a place brand by means of a successive and organised process taking into account the feedback cycle for dynamic support and innovative growth of brand evolution in time. 

 By mapping the historical and contextual evolution of a place brand (theoretical and practical alike), renowned international authors follow parallel or separate paths in place marketing development. For some time, the emergence thereof as a separate thematic area within marketing created a dilemma about the roots of the discipline. Some researchers operate in the realms of communication, geography and strategy, others draw on public diplomacy, others rely on projects for local communities etc. The potential of place branding reveals itself also in psychological and sociological concepts like a sense of place, place attachment, and consumer decision making. What is more, a different knowledge path shows that place branding can be also seen as a type or approach to place management. There are also many different nomenclatures which describe place marketing like territorial, geographic, public, urban, and locality marketing. The term “strategic marketing of places” has also made its way to literature on the subject. This heterogeneous disciplinary scenario has emerged in a variety of multifaceted articles published all over the world, as the discipline combines fields of study such as business and public administration and applies to research problems explored in various fields of knowledge, including communication, strategy, international business, public diplomacy, corporate branding, services branding, non-profit branding, tourism, geography, sociology, and sustainability. Another issue the knowledge field has overcome over the last years was related to the conceptual and functional confusion among place promotion, place marketing, and place branding. 

 Places are continuously subjected to verification related to satisfying needs and wants of the target groups at a time of dynamic changes to the macro-environmental forces: technological, economic, political, social, and cultural. Therefore, branding-related activities are necessary for defining, reinforcing, and communicating the unique benefits and values of places and for highlighting a local brand’s heritage. Communication competences are a key factor and a prerequisite; they can simultaneously assume two forms: primary (direct interaction, infrastructural projects, the organisational and administrative structure, and the place’s behaviour) and secondary (advertising, public relations, visual identity). From this perspective, rebranding, brand repositioning and reorientation of brand management budgets are also the suggested subjects in empirical research and conceptual reflections. 

 Therefore, we call for articles that make a scientific contribution to one or more of the following four key focuses of the journal: Research Methods and Theory in Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Management and Marketing Strategies, Marketing in Specific Contexts. In addition, onto-epistemological consistency in place is sought within the market framework, in the role of a place from the perspectives of strategic and tactical marketing with both theoretical and methodological schemes. For the definition of methodological procedures, it is advisable to base studies on the recommended bibliography (below) using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Additionally, manuscripts based on bibliographic analysis or bibliometric studies will be accepted. We also welcome contextual studies focused on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic or comparing different places (from different continents or countries), as described above. Of special importance are digital communication and creating digital experiences which have emerged recently as tools prevailing in places as a result of the pandemic. Online place branding campaigns and virtual tools are also underlying themes to be discussed due to the impact of technology and communication transformations.

 Finally, to refine the theme of this special edition of the journal, revolving around the limit of the knowledge on place branding, the following suggested keywords are recommended in line with the place branding concepts discussed in this editorial article.

  • Construction and management of a place brand
  • Consumer experience in place brand
  • Consumer-brand relationship
  • Co-participation and engagement of stakeholders
  • Geographic information system (GIS) and the place brand
  • Geographic marketing
  • Geomarketing
  • Governance as a place brand dimension
  • Historical heritage in place brand
  • Integration between public planning/public policies and city, region, or country brand management
  • Local marketing
  • Online and offline communication
  • Online communities associated with the place brand
  • Online place branding
  • Participatory communication
  • Perception of place brand
  • Place brand equity
  • Place brand identity
  • Place brand organizational strategies
  • Place brand relationship marketing
  • Place brand reputation
  • Place brand image
  • Place brand positioning/repositioning/rebranding
  • Promotion channels and digital communication
  • on-line place branding
  • Public relations related to places
  • Public marketing
  • Regional brands
  • Rural place branding
  • Scientific place brand models
  • Smart cities as a place brand
  • Social media in place branding
  • Strategic marketing of places
  • Sustainable development (SDG)
  • Territorial marketing
  • Virtual places
  • Urban marketing


References and recommended bibliography

Aitken, R., & Campelo, A. (2011). The four R’s of place branding. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(9-10): 913-933.

Alfinito, S., Assumpção, M., Torres, C. V., & Aragão, B. S. (2019). Is geographic segmentation suitable for marketing studies? An investigation applied to Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Marketing, 18(2), 243-267.

Artencio, M., Mariutti, F., & Giraldi, J. (2020). 20 Anos de Publicações sobre Marca-de-Lugar no Brasil: um panorama analítico-reflexivo da produção acadêmica em congressos de Administração. In: XXIII Seminários em Administração - SemeAD, da Faculdade de Administração, Contabilidade e Economia, Universidade de São Paulo.

Bell, F. (2016) Looking beyond place branding: the emergence of place reputation. Journal of Place Management and Development, 9 (3): 247-254.

Boisen, M., Terlouw, K, & Groote, P., & Couwenberg, O. (2018) Reframing place promotion, place marketing, and place branding-moving beyond conceptual confusion. Cities, 80: 4-11.

Brito, C. (2010). Uma abordagem relacional ao valor da marca. Revista de Gestão dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, 9(1-2): 49-63.

Burgess, J. (1982). Selling places: environmental images for the executive. Regional Studies, 16(1): 1-17.

de Sá Amorim, R., dos Santos, O. S., Teixeira, M. C., Fernandes, M. E., de Oliveira Morais, M., Conceição, M., & Okano, M. T. (2020). Localização estratégica: métodos de escolha. Brazilian Journal of Development, 6(8), 59491-59497.

Florek, M., Hereźniak, M., & Augustyn, A. (2021). Measuring the effectiveness of city brand strategy. In search for a universal evaluative framework. Cities, 110, 103079.

Florek, M., & Kavaratzis, M. (2014). From brand equity to place brand equity and from there to the placebrand. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 10 (2): 103–107.

Florek, M., Insch, A., & Gnoth, J. (2006). City council websites as a means of place brand identity communication. Place Branding, 2(4): 276-296.

Gertner, D. (2011). Unfolding and configuring two decades of research and publications on place marketing and place branding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 7(2): 91-106.

Giovanardi, M., & Lucarelli, A. (2018). Sailing through marketing: A critical assessment of spatiality in marketing literature. Journal of Business Research, 82: 149-159.

Govers, R., & Go, F. (2016). Place branding: Glocal, virtual and physical identities, constructed, imagined, and experienced. Springer.

Guerreiro, M. M. (2015). O papel da cultura na Gestão da marca das cidades. Caderno Profissional de Marketing, 2(2): 1-11.

Gulisova, B. (2020). Rural place branding processes: a meta-synthesis. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 1-14.

Insch, A., & Florek, M. (2008). A great place to live, work, and play. Journal of Place Management and Development, 1 (2): 138-149.

Kalandides, A., Kavaratzis, M., & Boisen, M. (2012). From ‘necessary evil’ to necessity: stakeholders’ involvement in place branding. Journal of Place Management and Development, 5 (1): 7-19.

Kaufmann, D., & Meili, R. (2019). Leaves in the wind? Local policies of small and medium-sized towns in metropolitan regions. European Planning Studies, 27(1): 21-41.

Kavaratzis, M. (2018). Place branding: Are we any wiser? Cities, 80: 61-63.

Kavaratzis, M. (2005). Place branding: A review of trends and conceptual models. The Marketing Review, 5 (4): 329-342.

Kavaratzis, M. (2020). Is ‘city branding’ worth re‐visiting? Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 111(1): 24-27.

Kavaratzis, M., & Ashworth, G. (2008). Place marketing: how did we get here and where are we going? Journal of Place Management and Development, 1 (2): 150-165.

Kotler, P., & Gertner, D. (2002). Country as brand, product, and beyond: A place marketing and brand management perspective. Journal of Brand Management, 9(4): 249-261.

Libório, M. P., Bernardes, P., Ekel, P. I., Ramalho, F. D., & dos Santos, A. C. G. (2020). Geomarketing e o problema da questão locacional nos estudos de marketing. Brazilian Journal of Marketing, 19(2): 448-469.

Lucarelli, A., & Giovanardi, M. (2016). The political nature of brand governance: a discourse analysis approach to a regional brand building process. Journal of Public Affairs, 16(1): 16-27.

Makarov, P. Y., & Illarionov, A. E. (2020). The role of regional administrations in improving place branding effectiveness. Journal of Place Management and Development, 13(4): 409-427.

Mariutti, F. G. (2017). The placement of country reputation towards place management. Journal of Place Management and Development, 10(3): 240-253.

Mariutti, F. G. (2019). Fundamentos teóricos sobre marketing de lugar, gestão de marca de lugar e valor de marca de lugar. Comunicação & Mercado, 6 (14): 163-184.

Mariutti, F. G., & Giraldi, J. M. E. (2019). Country brand personality of Brazil: a hindsight of Aaker’s theory. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 1-14.

Mariutti, F. G., & Giraldi, J. M. E. (2020). Country brand equity: The role of image and reputation. BAR-Brazilian Administration Review, 17 (3): 2-24.

Mariutti, F. G., & Giraldi, J. M.E (2019). How does a brand reputation-driven construct impact on country brand equity? A cross-national study of Brazil and China. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 31(5): 408-428.

Mariutti, F.G., & Tench, R. (2016). How does Brazil measure up? Comparing rankings through the lenses of nation brand indexes. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 12 (1): 17-31.

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Pedeliento, G., & Kavaratzis, M. (2019). Bridging the gap between culture, identity, and image: A structurationist conceptualization of place brands and place branding. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 28 (30): 348-363.

Poiani, I.S., & Mariutti, F.G. (2020). Estudo sobre reputação de marca de uma universidade privada brasileira na perspectiva de place branding. In: Anais do XIX Encontro Paranaense dos Estudos em Administração - EPEAD 2020.

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Warnaby, G. (2018). Taking a territorological perspective on place branding? Cities, 80: 64-66.

Warnaby, G., & Medway, D. (2013). What about the ‘place’ in place marketing? Marketing Theory, 13 (3): 345-363.

Zenker, S. (2011). How to catch a city? The concept and measurement of place brands. Journal of Place Management and Development, 4 (1): 40-52.



▪ Requests for full papers provided: February 3rd, 2021

▪ Deadline for full article submissions: July 3rd, 2021 Deadline extended August 3rd, 2021

▪ Reviews of full papers provided: October 1st, 2021

▪ Deadline for revised submissions: December 1st, 2021

▪ Additional revisions (if necessary) subsequently

▪ Final versions due: January 2022

▪ Special Issue published online: January 31th, 2022