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Construction and Management of Territorial Brands



The brand is a structuring and management concept that will serve as a reference for the creation of the logo. The logo is the graphic representation that identifies a brand.

Figure 1: Place tag design examples


Brand is more than logo.

Brand is Management.

Place tags are for:

  • ​ Differentiating one place from another and fostering different economies and local vocations.

  • Position the place in people's memory consistently.

  • Putting the city in a better position to compete for investment, tourists, new businesses and qualified workers.

  • Integrate communication efforts improving the result of the city's image.

  • Provide tools for managing the city's reputation.



The Place Brand Compound was created with the objective of instrumenting the management of the territory through the analysis of the identity elements of the brand and their articulations in the formation of the image and reputation of the place. Its application aims to generate a perception of the place with more adherence to its reality and its positive potential, as well as to represent the existing articulations between people and the place. The Compound brings in its essence the idea that the local brand must account for social, economic, political and cultural diversity in order to enable effective and long-term management. In this sense, the identity of the place brand is composed of six dimensions that are grouped into physical and symbolic evidence, as shown in Figure 2  (Kings 2018)  


Our work methodology is structured on the theory elaborated by Kings (2018)  in which a place brand is built and managed by the articulations that exist between the identity, communication, image and reputation of the brand and described in the Place Brand Composite.


Figure 2: Lugar Brand Compound

Composto Marca Lugar.png

Source:  Kings (2018) 

AIDENTITYof the place brand is formed by physical and symbolic evidence that characterize and give personality to the place.

​AsPhysical Evidenceof the brand's identity are composed of a network of elements that characterize the place and materialize its singularities and differentials. It relates to more concrete, physical, productive and rational aspects. In this respect, the brand is a producer of information and promoter of relationships. To prepare the physical evidence, elements related to the productive dimension of the territory, the political dimension and the historical-cultural dimension are incorporated into the brand identity.

  • Productive Dimension- refers to the articulation of existing industries and service providers in the place with their natural vocations. This articulation provides better technological and economic development, a stable and low-risk economy, as well as more favorable environments for business. As a result of the articulation of different existing industries and services, the productive dimension also incorporates the possibility of quality local products and services with better known brands.

  • Political Dimension- refers to the existence of spaces for participation, the political structure of the place and the recognition of an efficient administration in the place. It also relates to the presence of the city and its leaders and personalities on the international scene. This dimension takes into account the existence of spaces for social participation in the formulation, implementation and supervision of public policies and public transparency practices, as well as the participation of local leaders in forums and international institutions aimed at promoting the city abroad.

  • Historical-Cultural Dimension- incorporates the preservation and rescue of existing historical facts and places, as well as local cultural references, the feeling of belonging and the local contribution to global culture. Leisure and culture facilities represent this dimension and should promote the singularities of the place. This dimension also encompasses events with international visibility held in the city.

​AsSymbolic Evidenceof the brand's identity reflect the emotional dimension that arises from the experiences one has with the place represented by the brand in the field of perceptions, ideas and relationships. It refers to the cultural diversity of the publics that are in the place and, at the same time, it represents the place for these people. In this respect, the brand is a producer of meanings and statements. To elaborate the symbolic evidence, elements related to the dimension of intangible attributes, the dimension of connections and the dimension of the potential of the place are incorporated into the brand identity.

  • Dimension of Intangible Attributes- refer to people's experiences with physical evidence. They can encourage positive associations with the city and the relationships that emerge among audiences through the brand. Esteem, admiration and confidence that people feel in the place are embodied in these attributes.

  • Dimensions of Connections- arise from experiences with the place and correspond to a dimension of the brand of the city composed of face-to-face and virtual spaces that stimulate interconnections between people and the place. Events are strategies with high power to generate connections. Here also comes the recognition of the place in the international media, providing new connections.  

  • Dimension of Potentialities- refer to the elements of the brand that are still expectations and perspectives for the future and the improvements resulting from the elements present in the physical evidence, in particular with regard to innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development.

our productPlace Brand Conceptualization and Designmaps the identity traits of the place to each of the six dimensions. From them it is possible to build the basic elements that will guide theTerritorial Marketing Strategies and the Territorial Marketing Strategies for Local Products.



Our work methodologyHODis based on the understanding that place brand management is more efficient when it integrates brand communication actions and monitoring communication ABOUT the brand in five types of communication.


Figure 3: Communication Compound for Lugar Brand

Comunicação marca lugar.png

Source:  Kings (2018) 


It refers to communication that will seek to engage people in the process of building and managing the territorial brand. The messages of this type of communication aim to encourage participation, especially in terms of brand identity elements. It is also related to the communication of government accountability to enable the participation of the population, with the creation and maintenance of communication channels and debate arenas with society, as well as being associated with all efforts to build relationships with the citizen, increasing their sense of pride and belonging.


It is the one that occurs in the dimension of government institutions with the objective of establishing a flow of information with citizens for accountability. This type of communication establishes contact spaces with residents as the basis of a democratic municipal public management process. Refers to communication actions and provision of content related to the operation and day-to-day activities of the place, as well as clarification and accountability for the public services offered.


It refers to the promotion and dissemination of local economies and industries as a way to attract new investors. In this dimension of communication, local brands, whose positioning is articulated with the brand identity of the place, can promote greater synergy in the process of aggregating the perception of positive value both for local products and for the city, forming a virtuous circle for all.


It refers to the communication that will give visibility to the participation of the place in the global scenario in a relevant way. It includes, in this dimension, the holding of mega-events that allow, in addition to visibility, the experience of various publics in the city in reinforcing its brand. It represents the Dimension of greater exposure, however it is also more subject to the possibility of generating an image crisis, if the city is not prepared to receive looks and criticism on an international scale, as well as if experiences in and with the place do not correspond to expectations generated.


It is more directly related to the messages that are conveyed by the national and international journalistic media, on all possible platforms. Also noteworthy is the importance of a proactive press office that positively explores the countless messages that a city produces, articulating them with the elements of its brand. Here, the importance of the media is highlighted as an actor that consistently collaborates with the construction of the brand's image, either as a source of content to be distributed and re-signified on social networks, or because of the power it has in maintaining guidelines related to the crises.

AIMAGEof the brand is the result of what is communicated about the place, either by managers, in an “official” way (communication FROM the brand), or by people in general on social networks and by the media in formal journalism formats (communication ABOUT the brand).


It is understood that the place brand is formed by defining its identity and managing its image and reputation. These brand dimensions articulate and change each other continuously. Mapping the identity elements of the brand optimizes the process of building the image of the place, since the brand's communication is based on a defined positioning. When audiences respond, in a process of interaction, experience and appropriation of the brand, such responses are incorporated into the brand, generating new elements and/or reinterpretations of its identity. This continuous exchange creates a relationship between the brand and its audiences and, in the long run, contributes to the brand's reputation. (Kings 2018).

In this sense, the reputation of the local brand is a process of building perceptions among different audiences over a long period of time. It involves not only communication efforts, but experiences in the different dimensions of the territory. While communication is important for externalizing brand identity and for establishing the relationships from which positive and negative perceptions form, the city's brand reputation will be shaped by people's perceptions and experiences of the place. (Kings 2018).

We understand that brand reputation is the judgment of aspects related to the place in the form of comparative rankings.

our productBrand Observatoryit allows the monitoring of the identity traits of the place brand and the results of the public policies foreseen in the territorial marketing plan in order to provide a consistent and continuous tool for the management of the territory.

Text adapted from the book A Marca da Cidade. Reproduction is permitted provided the source is mentioned. 


REIS, Patricia Cerqueira. The City Brand: Reflections and Propositions for Building and Managing City Brands: The Case of Rio de Janeiro. Ed. Appris, Curitiba, 2018.

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