Investigating residents and municipality processes of co-creation in branding Luton – a place with a negative reputation
AuthorsStoica, Ioana Sabrina
place brand co-creation
negative place reputation
Subject Categories::N500 Marketing
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractIn consideration to place branding as a holistic and integrated concept, this thesis presents an investigation of the processes of co-creation between residents and municipality scrutinised in three branding practices (top-down, bottom-up and mixed branding approaches) of a place with a negative reputation: Luton. The study utilises a combination of concepts from corporate brands and place brands. A qualitative methodology and multi-methods were used to achieve the following objectives: (1) investigate the factors influencing participation in different branding approaches, (2) explore the processes and roles undertaken by the actors involved and (3) examine the outcomes achieved. The study examined three campaigns, one representative for each branding approach, through an interpretivist paradigm, a social construction epistemology and an iterative-inductive ethnographic approach. The investigation was undertaken in three stages, which included interviews with the municipality and residents, auto-ethnographic, netnographic data and document analysis. The findings indicate that co-creation processes can have multiple nuances in different branding approaches and most often, the theoretical and practical views of co-creation are clashing. The study proposes a framework for residents and municipality co-creation which brings insights into different factors affecting participation, four dimensions of co-creation with direct and indirect methods and active and passive actors’ roles and their outcomes. While co-creation processes usually bring positive outcomes, the data suggests that the outcomes can be both positive and negative according with the dimensions used to co-create meaning, the active and passive residents’ involvement, and the power relations in the processes. The findings contribute to the understanding of the intricacies of co-creation, participatory branding and residents’ involvement in branding places which are struggling with their reputation. The theoretical framework argues for a distinction between co-creation and participation and can support places in the process of involving residents in brand meaning co-creation, avoid “common” issues faced in participatory branding and consequently help the brand minimise representational dissonances and improve its reputation.
CitationStoica, I. S. (2021) 'Investigating Residents and Municipality Processes of Co-creation in Branding Luton – A Place with a Negative Reputation'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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