Places, Users, and Place Uses: A Theoretical Approach to Place Market Analysis
Purpose – This paper aims to develop a theoretical approach to place market analysis that aims to identify the ways in which specific places are used and to further enable the identification of distinct segments and products. Design/methodology/approach – Typology construction was chosen as the main study method. Eight polar place demand patterns were classified on the abstract level, using a set of binary variables of spatial behaviour (migration, natural growth and settling). Based on this typology, eight abstract places were deductively described. In conjunction with this deductive study, the authors conducted focus groups, and the results showed considerable similarity in the interpretation of the achieved types. Findings – This paper arrives at interdependent typologies of place demand, place product and place use patterns that allow the ways of using specific places to be identified and distinctive segments and products to be distinguished as particular, consistent combinations of the achieved types. Practical implications – The typologies obtained expand the scope of competitive analysis and planning in framing place marketing. Distinct uses of specific places unambiguously point to the features of certain segments and could thereby enable a lucid marketing strategy. Originality/value – Empirically driven place market research has not precisely defined the distinct ideas and concepts of investigated places, which might reflect the different segments of the population that have different intentions for the use of these places. This paper offers important insights into product differentiation and market segmentation in the frame of simultaneous product use. © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.