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What is Umeå about in 2014?: A Study on Gaps between Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Umeå Brand Identity as a European Capital of Culture in 2014
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During centuries, places and cities have made efforts to make their land more attractive, efficient, democratic and secure. This aspire has accelerated due to globalization and other external factors. Today, there is fierce and global competition between cities and nationalities to create arenas for more investments, productive inhabitants and vibrant culture. The place brand has been a good tool and a key for success. Nevertheless, place branding is challenging; it includes the investment of all stakeholders – possessing different agendas and target markets – and at the same time their coordination and collaborations to ensure there would be no conflicting messages, misusing the place and harming the brand. Therefore, strong collaboration among stakeholders and consistent perceptions – about the city potentials – is substantially important.

There are debates among scholars to choose the best initiative for involving all the groups, cultures, interests of a society into branding a city and exploit the potential of the city simultaneously. Place branding is a relatively new but growing field of research. The topic is multifaceted and therefore is considered advantageous to study place branding from a stakeholder perspective. In this current study, the stakeholders are viewed as the actors that are engaged in the act of presenting Umeå based on the cultural potential of the city during its hosting the European Capital of Culture event in 2014. Based on the purpose and research problems of this thesis, it is aimed to provide a framework to examine the gaps between the stakeholders’ perceptions about their city cultural potential during a cultural event.

For this qualitative research, a single case study design is used and eight stakeholders – divided in two main groups – are identified for the data gathering by using in-depth interviews. The identity-reputation gap model is used as an analytical tool and gives guidance to the research.

This study fills other research gaps by contributing with an understanding of the stakeholder’s role by studying place branding in the context of a mid-size city. With regard to the empirical contribution, this study offers a range of insights for Umeå – the image and the branded potential of the city – and findings can be regarded as a starting point for brand managers as well as cultural coordinators working to develop the place brand identity consistently in other contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , Spring Semester p.
Keyword [en]
Umeå2014, brand identity, stakeholders, perceptions
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90588OAI: diva2:728680
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-06-24 Last updated: 2014-07-02Bibliographically approved

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