Place overbranding and how to prevent it: combining two conceptual and methodological approaches
Methodology – The concept of a product-based place brand that reflects local ways of life and local identities was introduced was introduced. A combination of projective and typological methods was applied. Three focus groups composed of future place managers were held in three countries (N= 27) to develop place brand vocabularies − typologies of verbal characteristics of abstract places as products for internal users (residents).
Findings – In most cases, the place brand vocabularies were consistent and compatible within each abstract type and were unique (mutually exclusive) between the types. The vocabularies contained both detailed and more generalized elements. For each abstract place, short formulations of the general concept were found. Each brand vocabulary reflected the institutional, socio-psychological, cultural, historical, and geographic differences of the countries involved in the research.
Originality/value –A conceptual and methodological framework for creating place brand vocabularies is offered and it provides (1) close relationship between multiple brand attributes and their laconic expressions appropriate for communication and (2) high differentiation among brand attributes facilitates the recognition of branded places by target and non-target audiences. The framework is applicable for designing verbal attributes of place brands for specific places to avoid overbranding effects.