Current Issues of Territory Branding
- Oles Honchar Dnipro National University; Ukraine
Background and aim of study:
With the intensification of market relations, territories – settlements, regions, states – become goods, which are attractive for buyers. The population decides whether or not to live in this territory, to plan future within it. Investors decide whether or not to invest in business projects in this area, and thus ensure its development. Tourists faced with the choice of whether or not to visit this area, satisfying their interest in new places and, thus, encouraging others to such trips. The territory, like any product, needs a system of promotion, which expressed in certain promotional activities. One of these measures is the creation of a territorial brand, because it creates opportunities to attract additional resources for the development of the territory, thus creating benefit. As noted by a prominent scientist, the founder of modern marketing management theory Kotler: “The most important concept in marketing - the concept of brand. If you are not a brand - you do not exist”. The universality of marketing approaches extends to regional marketing. The use of marketing theory allows us to consider the key indicator of the success of regional policy to meet the needs of residents in public services and goods, creating favorable conditions for their living and employment. This will affect the intensification of entrepreneurial activity, attracting investment, creating new jobs. Under such conditions, the territorial brand becomes an important factor in the promotion of the external environment, based on its political, economic, socio-cultural potential and natural recreational resources, as well as brands of local producers. However, few works are still devoted to the issue of structuring a brand of territory, there is no single approach to the allocation of components of it. These circumstances justify the purpose of the study – identify patterns of individual components of the territorial brand.
A brand is a multifaceted construct that is the object of marketing communications and contributes to the formation of a unique set of associations in the minds of consumers. The territory becomes a kind of “commodity”, which has its unique characteristics in three dimensions: the product by design (guidelines and vision for the development of territories, both from the standpoint of government and the population, expressed in programs and projects), the product in real performance (natural- climatic and raw materials, ethnographic, historical and cultural, economic and social, production and infrastructural features of the territory) and goods with reinforcement (positive image of the territory, which is formed in the imagination of residents under the influence of government, local government and effective branding). The brand of the territory allows to identify, to distinguish this territory from others, to emphasize its unique potential in the fields of production of goods and services, science, and education, with many cultural traditions, natural and recreational resources. The communication component is a way to create a positive perception of the territorial brand. In the conditions of gradual transition to the information society, the role of symbolic communication intensively increases. At the same time, signs and symbols are not so much a mirror image of reality as a means by which people try to understand and interpret the world around them. Therefore, it is important not only what a certain city really is, but also the impression it makes. As with product branding, the main goal of the territorial brand is to make it better, more competitive, to form loyalty to it among the various target groups it serves.
In the conditions of activization of market relations, the cities compete for attraction of additional resources of the development. For this purpose, the image is very important, which as an identifier is responsible for the perception of the territory as its internal audience, citizens and external – investors, tourists, residents of other settlements. The brand is a complex structure that provides such components as identity, the ability of the brand to convey the characteristics of the territory and closely associated with it; communications through which the brand transmits its influence to the audience; commercialization – the opportunity to be “sold”, to attract contactors and involve them in the processes of sustainable development of the city. The territorial brand cannot be created on the basis of invented values, theoretical ideas about how it was created by other states, but assumes the originality, uniqueness of the territory, its unique experience and potential development opportunities.
DOI and UDC:
UDC: 332.146.2 DOI: 10.26697/ijes.2020.4.30
Information about the authors:
Zinchenko Olha Anatoliyivna – Doctor of Economic Sciences, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Marketing and International Management, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Dnipro, Ukraine. Research interests: regional management and marketing; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5414-7839