Place branding, embeddedness and endogenous rural development: Four European cases

Mechthild Donner*, Lummina Horlings, Fatiha Fort, Sietze Vellema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article deals with place branding on the regional scale, in the rural context of food and tourism networks in Europe. Place branding is linked to the concepts of endogenous rural development, territory and embeddedness, by analysing how the valorisation of specific rural assets takes shape. The overall objective is to provide more understanding of how the branding of rural regions can contribute to endogenous rural development. Four European regional rural cases on place branding are explored, two from France, one from Ireland and one from Germany. Described are pre-conditions for branding, brand management, cooperation forms and development outcomes. The analysis is based on interviews as primary data and various secondary data. The cases all involve multiple stakeholders, and integrate the capacities and needs of local people. The findings show different levels of societal, structural and territorial embeddedness, and that higher degrees of embeddedness contribute to a successful branding process. The results indicate that place branding can support endogenous rural development and benefits from the adoption of common values and joint reflections on brand extensions, although there remains a need for more consistent impact measurement methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-292
JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • embeddedness
  • endogenous development
  • food networks
  • place branding
  • regional development
  • rural areas

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