Rethinking the measurement of place brands
Place brand managers often disregard the complexity of place brands, as do their counterparts in the academic arena: they repeatedly use simple explorative descriptions of certain place brands, rather than a precise measurement. Thus, this chapter aims to identify and discuss measurement approaches that could prove useful in place branding. Therefore, we will define the brand and examine various options regarding what to measure in place branding. Finally, we will discuss the different approaches of brand measurement for their use in place branding, namely the approaches to measuring the brand in the form of free brand associations of target customers with qualitative methods; in the form of attributes with quantitative methods like standardized questionnaires; and with mixed methods that combine qualitative research with quantitative methods. Two mixed methods, namely the network analysis and the advanced brand concept map method, are explained in more detail. In conclusion, we also outline current and future challenges in measuring place brands and their outcomes.