This thesis examines the actual or potential role of place branding as an instrument of strategic planning approach, specifically on the regional scale. Through a thorough exploration of the theoretical relationships between place branding and strategic planning this thesis addresses the gaps in the place branding literature and contributes to the theoretical refinement and development. At the same time the thesis contributes to the tool palette of the strategic planning approach and spatial strategy; therefore strengthens the foundations for a renewal of strategic planning.
This thesis examines the empirical importance of a region-branding initiative as a tool integrated into the broader strategic planning, through the case study to treat the northern region of Portugal, one of the five NUTS II regions on the mainland. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the academic debate and practice of regional branding by discussing the relevance and effectiveness in supporting spatial-economic and socio-spatial rearrangement means shaping clearly foreseen, receipted and realistic images of the future for places like regions.
The primary reasoning line is postulated in this thesis - place branding as a tool of strategic planning - is separate from the corporate branding and marketing approaches with respect to the process of place branding, which still dominate the discourse. This is done without undermining the importance of translating mainstream methods of business and corporate branding; Instead, it emphasizes the value and effectiveness of a more geographically and Spatial Development Perspective in place branding.