Key performance indicators in Danish place and city branding – Proposal for a new brand strategy platform

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The study is aimed at describing the types of counter narratives evolving in a city brand process, how they are understood and dealt with and how they may influence brand management.Place and city branding is about leading change and change may give rise to resistance. Therefore brand resistance and counter narratives among residents and civil servants play an important role in place and city branding and may eventually lead to direct counter branding activities as seen in several cities, i.e. Randers (Jensen 2007), Glasgow (Gray and Porter 2014) and Rio de Janeiro (Maiello and Pasquinelli 2015). All Danish city brand projects (over 25) are tax financed. Mayors play a key role (Jørgensen 2015) in the brand process and there is a close interaction between mayors, top management and heads of communication.Three Danish municipalities have been selected for analysis, Horsens with a well documented change of image over the last 15 years but with the third mayor in office, Kolding and Odense where projects were launched two years ago, and where the mayors are still in office. Horsens and Odense has used a top-down decision process while Kolding has developed a project based upon a bottom-up process involving hundreds of residents.Interviews are conducted with the mayors representing political legitimacy and contact to voters, the city CEOs representing top management and heads of city communication representing the organization responsible for support to and development of the brand process.Empirical findings from the interviews are analyzed using the theoretical narrative methods as presented and applied in Counter Narratives and Organizations (Kuhn et al. 2016). Counter narratives are identified, categorized and potentially applied as resources in the brand process in the perspective of managing change (Kotter 1995).
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)339–351
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • marketing

Cite this