chapter  7
23 Pages

Place branding

In the academic discourse on social power, the concept of place branding has acquired its proper, be it still somewhat awkward, place. In our study on the role of culture and media, and particularly the impact of public diplomacy, we have already come across the notion of branding, and place branding in particular. We are used to seeing brands all around us, bombarded as we are with commercial messages, signs, and appeals for our money, attention, commitment, and even devotion. From experience, we know that anything can be branded: Perrier branded water; American Express branded credit; and Intel branded computer components. But what exactly is place branding, how does it work, and why is it rapidly becoming such a hotly debated, because still controversial, concept, both amongst policymakers and academics? And, more particularly, how does place branding fit into our examination of social power’s role in international politics?1