Rethinking the Branding Context for Municipalities

Lisa Källström


The increased global connectivity and mobility of both humans and capital has created competition between municipalities in attracting the resources needed to achieve their developmental goals. A call for papers focusing on reputation and brand management in Scandinavian municipalities has been announced. Today, it is absolutely necessary to be an attractive place and municipality, and brand management can be a tool in both achieving and communicating this. For branding to be effective, it is critical to have a good understanding of the branding context, and this conceptual paper explores the branding context for municipalities by analysing it—firstly, based on a product-oriented paradigm and, secondly, on service-based logics. It is argued that much of current place management and place branding research rests on belief in the product-oriented paradigm and thus focuses largely on the provider. In contrast, using service-based logics as a starting point places value creation at the center and shifts the focus to the resident. This has several theoretical and methodological consequences as well as practical implications for Scandinavian municipalities, and these will be discussed in the paper.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413