City branding: can goods and services branding models be used to brand cities?

Brenda Parkerson, John Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A city's branding is investigated using generic product and services branding models. Two generic branding models and tourism segmentation models guide an investigation into city branding 'as it should be' and 'as it is' using Birmingham, England as a case study. The unique characteristics of city brands are identified and Keller's Brand Report Card provides a theoretical framework for building a picture of the brand-building activity taking place in the city. Four themes emerge and are discussed: 1) the impact of a network on brand models developed for organisations; 2) segmentation of brand elements; 3) corporate branding; and 4) the political dimension. A conclusion is that city branding would be more effective if the systems and structures of generic branding models were adopted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-264
Number of pages23
JournalPlace Branding
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • city branding
  • place branding
  • Birmingham brand
  • networks


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