Initiation, marketing and branding of smart city projects: a study of decision processes

Vijaygopal, Rohini; Bennett, Roger and Savani, Sharmila (2023). Initiation, marketing and branding of smart city projects: a study of decision processes. Journal of Marketing Management, 39(17-18) pp. 1833–1861.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2023.2172448

Abstract

Today, smart city areas and initiatives are found throughout the world, yet little research has been completed into the processes whereby decisions concerning the initiation, marketing, and branding of smart city projects have been taken. The present study examined these processes via interviews with 18 smart city managers, followed by an online World Café convened to discuss emerging issues. Interviewees were asked to relate stories of how decisions had been reached, which stakeholders had been prioritised, the extent of citizen co-creation in project initiation and branding, and the main difficulties involved. An argumentative narrative discourse methodology was employed to analyse the interview transcripts, which revealed a number of disparities between the suggestions of extant place branding literature and current practice where smart city projects were concerned.

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