CITY BRANDING AND UNIVERSITIES: THE CHALLENGE OF A JOINT COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
Keywords:city branding, university branding, co-branding, city ambassadors, communication strategy
City branding is a hot topic in both tourism and marketing, and its impact may be seen in both. While tourism is concerned with city branding because it can help locations attract more tourists and generate more revenue, marketers are looking for innovative strategies to promote, position, and differentiate city brands in order to obtain a competitive advantage in this saturated market. On the other side, city brands might bring benefits in terms of customer consumption behavior, as customers are more aware than ever before and have a plethora of options to choose from, but they have less time at their disposal, and these selections are often fraught with risk. Although city brand strategy can take many different directions (culture, entertainment, seasonal tourism, etc.), cities with a strong academic center can benefit from a partnership between the city's communication strategy and the local university's communication strategy, leveraging co-branding to gain an advantage and attract more people to the city. We chose the city of Brasov, Romania, for this topic since it is home to a renowned university.
The aim of this study is to find out more about students' perceptions of Brasov's city brand in order to see whether we could employ them as brand ambassadors in a future city branding plan, as well as if the university could be used as a co-brand in this campaign.
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