From city promotion via city marketing to city branding: Examining urban strategies in 23 Chinese cities

Wenting Ma*, Martin de Jong, Thomas Hoppe, Mark de Bruijne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlePopular

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

City promotion, city marketing and city branding are all frequently mentioned and examined in the literature on urban governance. Based on the goals and characteristics of different city branding strategies, this study identifies a growing level of sophistication from city promotion via city marketing to city branding and proposes that the degree of urban development of cities is positively related to the use of branding strategies. This proposition is tested among 23 Chinese cities: 21 cities in Guangdong province and two in the Special Administrative Regions – Hong Kong and Macao. The results show a positive correlation between the use of city promotion, city marketing and city branding strategies and a city's level of urban development. Only the largest and wealthiest cities, and those with the strongest tertiary sector report on the use of policies which indicate city branding. The strength of the primary sector is significantly and negatively related to all three identified forms of branding strategy. Furthermore, significant positive statistical inter-relationships exist between the different branding strategies, which confirm the existence of complex relations and overlaps between them. Our findings suggest that local governments should align their city branding strategies with their development goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103269
JournalCities
Volume116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the China Scholarship Council for support Wenting Ma's PhD project. They are also indebted to the Erasmus Initiative for the Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity, Delft University of Technology for the in kind contributions. The authors thank two anonymous reviewers and editor for their feedback on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research is supported by a joint project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) : ‘Towards Inclusive Circular Economy: Transnational Network for Wise-waste Cities (IWWCs)’ (NWO project number: 482.19.608; NSFC project number: 72061137071).

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the China Scholarship Council for support Wenting Ma's PhD project. They are also indebted to the Erasmus Initiative for the Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity, Delft University of Technology for the in kind contributions. The authors thank two anonymous reviewers and editor for their feedback on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research is supported by a joint project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) : ?Towards Inclusive Circular Economy: Transnational Network for Wise-waste Cities (IWWCs)? (NWO project number: 482.19.608; NSFC project number: 72061137071).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

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