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The magic of place branding: regional brand identity in transition

  • Cecilia Cassinger
  • Jörgen Eksell
Publiceringsår: 2017
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 202-212
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Place Management and Development
Volym: 10
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Abstract english


The purpose of this paper is to examine the transition of a place brand identity from a cultural anthropological perspective. More specifically, the paper analyses the ritual features and magical qualities of the development process of a regional brand in Scandinavia.

The study consists of an exploratory, longitudinal single case study of regional branding. An abductive research design was used in which the data, consisting of qualitative interviews, policy and promotional documents, were analysed with an interpretive approach.

Three place branding rituals of re-naming, managing ambiguity and instilling faith are identified as central in the transition process. These practices generate different forms of magic that facilitate transition and accommodate change.
Research limitations/implications

The study suggests that the theoretical lens of the anthropological concept of the rite of passage is useful to capture the mechanisms and practices of the transition from an old to a new place brand identity.
Practical implications

The approach outlined in this paper is relevant for brand development and planning in that it demonstrates the ritual features and magical qualities of branding. In contrast to the linear step-by-step approach to brand planning, the study visualises brand development as overlapping phases in a process.

The study demonstrates the value of anthropological insights into transition rituals for understanding how change is alleviated in the development of place brands.


  • Communication Studies


  • Narratives about the Family Helsingborg - the place brand as value creator
  • ISSN: 1753-8335
E-post: jorgen [dot] eksell [at] isk [dot] lu [dot] se

Biträdande prefekt

Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

+46 42 35 66 17

C322 - Campus Hbg


Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

+46 42 35 66 17

C322 - Campus Hbg


Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

+46 42 35 66 17

C322 - Campus Hbg

Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation
Lunds Universitet | Campus Helsingborg
Besök: Universitetsplatsen 2 Helsingborg
Postadress: Box 882, 251 08 Helsingborg
 042-35 65 95
E-post: info [at] isk [dot] lu [dot] se

Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten | Campus Helsingborg