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2023/2024  BA-BMAKV2002U  Place branding: Nations, regions and cities

English Title
Place branding: Nations, regions and cities

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Market Dynamics and Cultural Analysis
Course coordinator
  • Carsten Jacob Humlebæk - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Intercultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 14-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • display an understanding of the theories and concepts of place branding relevant to the selected, concrete problem and concrete case
  • display a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political and market-related context of the selected case
  • be able to critically choose and apply relevant theories to the selected problem
  • be able to identify and critically select and use sources relevant for the analysis of the selected problem and case
  • be able to design and conduct an analysis of the selected problem and case using the chosen theory/ies and sources
  • be able to present the problem, the analysis, and the conclusions in a clear and comprehensive way in accordance with the academic genre and language
Place branding: Nationer, regioner og byer:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Seemingly everything needs to be branded these days and what does not have a competitive identity does not have a future! This course will take a closer look at the phenomenon of place branding, i.e. how notions of branding and image management are applied to nations, regions and cities and even to supranational entities as e.g. Scandinavia or the EU. According to the place branding discourse, nations, regions, and cities compete for tourists, trade, investments and talent, and for that purpose they rely on having an attractive brand to be competitive in a globalized world. A lot of resources are thus spent on branding efforts - from tourist campaigns to public diplomacy efforts of governments - and indexes and rankings are produced; but are the resources well-spent and are the rankings reliable? The course will have a double focus on case studies of different countries, cities and regions including a number of guest lectures from specialists, on the one hand, and on more theoretically focused sessions on the other, where we will critically consider if and how place branding is possible, whether (nation) brands can be measured and whether branding campaigns are likely to be good value for money. We will also consider how mega-events such as the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup or Tour de France may be used in a place branding context. There will be a possibility to hand in and have comments on written assignments during the course.

Description of the teaching methods
Introduction to key concepts and case studies by the teachers followed by discussions in class.

Workshops and group work

Initial supervision for exam papers
Feedback during the teaching period
Comments on individual essays
Student workload
Course activities (including preparation) 167 hours
Exam (including exam preparation) 40 hours
Expected literature

Aharoni, Ido and Grinstein, Amir (2017). How to (re)position a country? A case study of the power of micro-marketing Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, vol. 13(4), 293-307, doi.org/​10.1057/​s41254-017-0055-9.

Anderson, Benedict (1991). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, (2nd ed.). London: Verso.

Anholt, Simon (2005). Anholt Nation Brands Index: How Does the World See America? Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 45(3), 296-304.

Anholt, Simon (2010). Places: Identity, Image and Reputation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (Online CBS Library).

Aronczyk, Melissa (2013) Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity. Oxford University Press. (Online CBS Library).

Belloso, Juan Carlos (2011). The City Branding of Barcelona: A Success Story. In Dinnie, Keith (ed). City Branding: Theory and Cases. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 118-123.

Chalip, Laurence and Costa, Carla A. (2005) Sport Event Tourism and the Destination Brand: Towards a General Theory, Sport in Society, 8(2), 218-237, DOI: 10.1080/​17430430500108579.

Costa, Valentin (2017): Shaping Public Diplomacy through Social Media Networks in the 21st Century. Romanian Journal of History and International Studies, vol 4(1): 139-154. Available at https:/​/​rjhis.ro/​ojs/​index.php/​rjhis/​article/​view/​38/​10

Cull, Nicholas J. (2010). Public diplomacy: Seven lessons for its future from its past. Place Branding and public diplomacy, vol. 6(1), 11-17.

Cull, Nicholas J.  (2015) Giving the devil his due: General Franco and Spanish brand ‘miracle’. Place Branding and public diplomacy, 11, 245–248. DOI: 10.1057/pb.2015.15

Dinnie, Keith (2022). Nation Branding: Concepts,Issues, Practice (3rd edition). London and New York: Routledge. (Online CBS Library).

Dinnie, Keith (ed.) (2011). City Branding: Theory and Cases. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (Online CBS Library).

[Düsseldort] (2017): Grand Départ a great success for host cities. Düsseldorf City Council, available at https:/​/​www.duesseldorf.de/​fileadmin/​Amt13/​pld/​pdf/​20170519-257_11.pdf

Faber, Sebastiaan (2022). Leyendas negras, marcas blancas. La malsana obsesión con la imagen de España en el mundo. Madrid: Editorial Escritos Contextatarios.

Fan, Ying (2006). Branding the nation: What is being branded? Journal of Vacation Marketing, vol. 12(1), 5-14.

Gilmore, Fiona (2002). A country – can it be repositioned? Spain – the success story of country branding. Brand Management, vol. 9(4-5), 281-293.

Kaneva, Nadia (2011). Nation branding: Toward an Agenda for Critical Research. International Journal of Communication, 5, 117-141.

Kavaratzis, Mihalis; Warnaby, Gary; and Ashworth, Gregory J. (eds.) (2015). Rethinking Place Branding: Comprehensive Brand Development for Cities and Regions. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Kenneth, Christopher and Moragas, Miquel de (2006). Barcelona – Evaluating the Olympic Legacy.  In Tomlinson, Alan and Young, Christopher (eds.): National Identity and Global Sports Events – Culture, Politics, and Spectacle in the Olympics and the Football World Cup, New York: State University of New York Press, 177-196.

Knott, Brendon; Fyall, Alan and Jones, Ian (2016). Leveraging nation branding opportunities through sport mega-events. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 10(1), 105-118, DOI: 10.1108/​IJCTHR-06-2015-0051.

Mordhorst, Mads (2015). Public Diplomacy vs Nation Branding: The Case of Denmark af the Cartoon Crisis. In Clerc, Louis; Glover, Nikolas & Jordan, Paul (eds.), Histories of Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding in the Nordic and Baltic Countries: Representing the Periphery. Leiden and Boston: Brill Nijhoff, 237-256. (Online CBS Library).

Nielsen, Christian Gjersing et al (2022): Does Hosting the Tour de France Yield Tangible Benefits? Working paper 03-07-2022, Århus: Idrættens Analyseinstitut.

Olins, Wally (2005). Making a National Brand. In Melissen, Jan (ed.), The New Public Diplomacy: Soft power in International Relations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 169-179. (Online CBS Library).

Pamment, James (2015). ‘Putting the GREAT Back into Britain’: National Identity, Public-Private Collaboration & Transfers of Brand Equity in 2012’s Global Promotional Campaign. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 17(2), 260-283.

Saunders, Robert A. (2017). Popular Geopolitics and Nation Branding in the Post-Soviet Realm. London and New York: Routledge.

Skinner, Heather (2021): Place Branding—The Challenges of Getting It Right: Coping with Success and Rebuilding from Crises. Tourism and hospitality, 2, 173–189. DOI: 10.3390/tourhosp2010010.

Subramanian, Samanth (2017). How to sell a country: the booming business of nation branding. The Guardian, 7 November 2017 ( https:/​/​www.theguardian.com/​news/​2017/​nov/​07/​nation-branding-industry-how-to-sell-a-country).

Surowiec, Pavel (2019). Nation Branding, Public Relations and Soft Power. Corporatising Poland. London and New York: Routledge.

van Ham, Peter (2001). The Rise of the Brand State: The Postmodern Politics of Image and Reputation. Foreign Affairs, vol. 80(5), 2-6. (Online CBS Library: JSTOR).

Werther, Charlotte (2011). Rebranding Britain: Cool Britannia, the Millenium Dome and the 2012 Olympics. Moderna Språk, vol. 105(1), 1-14.

Werther, Charlotte (2022). Leveraging landscape: The first four years of UNESCO Global Geopark Odsherred. In Braga, Vitor; Duarte, António, & Marques, Carla Susan (eds.). Economics and Management of Geotourism. Springer.

Zenker, Sebastian, & Braun, Erik (2017). Questioning a “One Size Fits All” City Brand: Developing a Branded House Strategy for Place Brand Management. Journal of Place Management and Development, 10(3), 270-287. DOI: 10.1108/​JPMD-04-2016-0018.

Last updated on 14-02-2023