The place branding bookshelf

Our understanding on place branding is rapidly evolving. Below are our top reading suggestions from the last few years for those looking to expand their own knowledge and insights…

 

Imaginative Communities: Admired Cities, Regions and Countries by Robert Govers

Who should read this:

If you’re looking to expand your place branding toolkit and focus your energies on symbolic actions instead of cut-and-paste marketing campaigns, this is the text for you.

 

Why it should be at the top of your reading list:

Globalisation has led to homogenisation. And place branding, Govers argues, has become overly focussed on gimmicks and trappings rather than creating a values-driven approach. Imaginative Communities is a fascinating exploration of how communities can create real change by creating experiences and personal connections rather than focussing on advertising and PR campaigns that lack the individuality and authenticity to truly change perceptions of your place.

 

Our favourite quote:

“External media image, reputation and stakeholder engagement / community pride should be the main measures of accountability for imaginative initiatives and mega-events. So it is shocking to see that more often than not, mega-events and other white elephants are presented as just another publicity stunt, a project of political prestige, often even ignoring the impact on the local populations and their relations. This clearly has to change.”

Buy it here

 

Nation Brand Builders by José Filipe Torres

Who should read this: 

Anyone looking to launch a new nation branding strategy – or who is looking for help explaining the importance of nation branding to their key stakeholders.

 

Why it should be at the top of your reading list:

Place branding theory has evolved rapidly over the recent years, but Torres argues – persuasively – that we’ve failed to keep up with the digital revolution. An accumulation of insights from 44 countries, regions, and cities around the world who have been proactively managing their reputation, Nation Brand Builders introduces us to Nation Branding 2.0 – an exploration of how places can adapt and evolve to successfully manage their digital place identity as part of their place brand strategy.

 

Our favourite quote:

“When I say the name of the country, what pops into your mind? The perceptions, feelings and emotions that you have whenever you hear the country’s name. That’s the Nation Brand.”

Buy it here


Place Branding for Small Cities, Regions & Downtowns: The essentials for successful destinations by Bill Baker

Who should read this:

This is a must-read for cities in the USA and Canada, but despite the North American focus, there are clear lessons for anyone looking for practical insight, and affordable, proven techniques.


Why it should be at the top of your reading list:

Baker does a fabulous job of outlining the evolution from tourism marketing into the more complex place brand strategy. The book provides a comprehensive toolkit for readers who are looking for solutions to their core challenges, be it tackling the infamous tag line, revitalising your downtown, or reinventing yourself to overcome stereotypes.

 

Our favourite quote:

“A city’s most valuable real estate isn’t the most significant buildings that form a skyline. Instead it’s in the space in the hearts and minds of its customers where they store all their thoughts about the place.”

Buy it here


The Good Country Equation: How we can repair the world in one generation by Simon Anholt

Who should read this:

Anyone who wants to be inspired to move beyond marketing towards actions that can creating lasting change for your place image and for the world at large.

 

Why it should be at the top of your reading list:

Part travelogue musings, part incisive place brand theory, Simon Anholt’s latest book tracks his journey around the world – and interspersed through anecdotes that show Anholt trapped in a Bhutanese toilet, singing with the Icelandic president, and dining with Putin, he also tracks the evolution of his distinctive take on guiding a national image.

We won’t deny that that Anholt’s perspective can be controversial and challenging, but his calls for greater global collaboration, for better global citizenship, have come at a timely moment in human history indeed.

 

Our favourite quote:

“Bragging about your own country, which is what governments so often end up doing, is like a standup comedian who goes onstage and tells the audience how funny he or she is. Don’t tell them to laugh. Be funny. And likewise, for countries: Don’t tell them to admire you. Be admirable.”

Buy it here to save 30% off the e-book!


Please note: City Nation Place aren't receiving any profits or compensation from recommending these books - all of these recommendations are based off our own reading and interests.

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