The Use of Internet in Building the Brand of "Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia”

The Use of Internet in Building the Brand of "Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia”

Peter Dobers (Mälardalen University, Sweden) and Anette Hallin (The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-134-6.ch013
OnDemand PDF Download:


This chapter discusses a current example of the ongoing efforts of city managers to promote their cities, also known as place marketing or place selling. After introducing the concept of city branding, and a model of how Web site elements communicate brand values and messages, we analyze a recent attempt of city managers in Stockholm to promote the brand of “Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia”. The authors hope that the empirical illustrations of how city managers of Stockholm have worked to provide a broader understanding to the complex Web of communication and brand building on the Internet, both empirically and conceptually.
Chapter Preview


Branding, i.e. the building of brands, is something that since the 1980s have become more and more common in everyday language denoting, that which gives a product meaning and identity in time and space. With the growing realization that the brand is important terms like “brand equity” (the financial value of the brand) and “brand management” (the managerial activities aiming at creating, sustaining and developing the brand) have also entered our language (Kapferer, 1997). The ideas of branding have also influenced the managers of cities, who, in a world of hardening competition for investors’ money, tourists and the most intelligent and creative workers, have begun to grasp the importance of the building of a strong city brand.

But despite the rapidly growing interest in branding both among practitioners and researchers, there is still a lack of empirical studies that shed light on how the process of branding a city actually takes place. There is also a need for case studies that reveal how cities work with the new possibilities provided by information- and communication technologies (ICTs) in their branding work. Thus this chapter provides experience, concepts and knowledge for practitioners to reflect upon their own branding situation and for scholars to further develop.

Cities, if seen as a complex web of actors of interacting, fighting, organizing and disorganizing, certainly provide challenges to the brand managers. The aim of this chapter is to explore how the branding of a city takes place by presenting and discussing a case study from the Swedish capital of Stockholm. In 2005 Stockholm launched the brand “Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia” and behind this cheeky statement lay several years of work, including city managers and brand specialists such as Dowell//Stubbs, a reorganization of the city organization and the building of a partnership involving 43 of the municipalities in the greater Stockholm region. In this the Internet was chosen as one channel to communicate the brand both with the partners geographically spread around Stockholm as well as with the presumed international audience. By telling the story of how Stockholm developed the brand and tried to engage as many actors as possible in this work and by examining closely the web pages of the City of Stockholm our aim is to shed light on the branding of cities and the use of ICTs in this work.

Having a long history of developing and using information- and communication technologies, it is not surprising that the City of Stockholm recognized the importance of IT as a tool in building the new brand. Even though local governments today are increasingly represented on the Internet (Urban, 2002), they still represent a sector where online branding has played a limited role, though, a state which will is expected to change in the future due to the digitalization of the economy (Rowley, 2004a, 2004b). Therefore, a case study of how the City of Stockholm has worked with online branding as a step in building “Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia” should provide interesting insights into the role of ICTs, especially information technologies, in the building of city brands today. The questions to be answered here are thus: How do the City of Stockholm and its partners use their web pages when it comes to promoting the brand? How was the brand developed and what was the rationale behind forming the partnership?

To answer these questions we have carried out nine interviews with the people responsible and involved in the work such as City managers and people from business. In addition to this we have studied Internet pages and collected all kinds of printed material about “Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia” such as brochures and articles from magazines and newspapers. After giving a brief background to the theory of city branding in general and to brand-building on the Internet in particular, we will based on the material mentioned above tell the story of how the idea of “Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia” developed. Then we will take a closer look at how the Internet has been (and is) used in the work before discussing our findings. Finally, we make some concluding remarks.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Mila Gascó-Hernandez, Teresa Torres-Coronas
Chapter 1
Norberto Muñiz-Martínez, Miguel Cervantes-Blanco
Cities are acquiring a key geopolitical importance in the shaping of world-wide flows and exchanges, playing a key part in modern socio-economic... Sample PDF
Identity and Marketing of Cities
Chapter 2
José Fernández-Cavia, Assumpció Huertas-Roig
City marketing tries to position cities in the mind of the public, although the process of creating and communicating city brands is still at an... Sample PDF
City Brands and their Communication through Web Sites: Identification of Problems and Proposals for Improvement
Chapter 3
Barry Mishra, Erik Rolland
City marketing in the broadest term can be defined as the strategic design of the city to satisfy the various stakeholders of the city who often... Sample PDF
A Strategic Framework for City Marketing: The SSRM Approach
Chapter 4
Al D. McCready
Indications are strong that globalization is an irresistible force, fomented by, or at the very least, enabled by technology. This chapter refers to... Sample PDF
Strategic Technology Planning for the Techno-Global Economy: Cities in the Market
Chapter 5
Juliane Chudalla, Key Pousttchi
Mobile services have great potentials in different fields, so it is interesting to have a closer look of them, and about the way they can be used... Sample PDF
City Marketing Goes Mobile: Use of Mobile Commerce Techniques for City Marketing
Chapter 6
Laura L. Matherly, Maureen Jouett
Integrating information communication technologies (ICTs) and marketing in strategic management of city government is critical to achieving... Sample PDF
Strategic Management in City Government: Integrating Information Communication Technologies and Marketing in a Causal Model to Drive Stakeholder Satisfaction and Economic Development
Chapter 7
María Isabel Huerta-Carvajal, Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes
Local governments around the world are becoming aware of the importance of identifying and marketing their local assets to promote economic... Sample PDF
City Boosterism through Internet Marketing: An Institutional Perspective
Chapter 8
Pablo Díaz-Luque
Large cities are one of the most popular tourism destinations throughout the world. Business and leisure tourists visit these areas every year and... Sample PDF
Official Tourism Web Sites and City Marketing
Chapter 9
Lluís Prats-Planagumà, Raquel Camprubí
The competitiveness of tourism destinations is a relevant issue for tourism studies, moreso, is a key element on the daily basis of tourism... Sample PDF
E-Tourism Image: The Relevance of Networking for Web Sites Destination Marketing
Chapter 10
Nicholas P. Robinson, Prescott C. Ensign
This chapter discusses the importance of making strategic investments in information communication technologies (ICTs) in order to benefit from... Sample PDF
Marketing Your City's Industries to the World: Building and Retaining Export Oriented Clusters through Strategic ICT Investments
Chapter 11
Marianna Sigala
During the last decades, the use of Web 2.0 applications for the generation, dissemination, and sharing of user-generated content (UGC) and the... Sample PDF
WEB 2.0, Social Marketing Strategies and Distribution Channels for City Destinations: Enhancing the Participatory Role of Travelers and Exploiting their Collective Intelligence
Chapter 12
José-Rodrigo Córdoba, Nicolas Jullien, Jocelyne Trémenbert
This chapter defines three different patterns to understand how city marketing initiatives are designed and implementing, and how information and... Sample PDF
Developing Patterns for Thinking About City Marketing Initiatives
Chapter 13
Peter Dobers, Anette Hallin
This chapter discusses a current example of the ongoing efforts of city managers to promote their cities, also known as place marketing or place... Sample PDF
The Use of Internet in Building the Brand of "Stockholm: The Capital of Scandinavia”
Chapter 14
Anette Hallin
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) cannot only be used practically in marketing efforts, but also as symbols, due to the images and... Sample PDF
Marketing the mCity: How a City Based ICT-Project Can Make Sense
Chapter 15
Sandra Moffett, T. M. McGinnity, M. Callaghan, J. Harkin, D. N. Woods
This chapter outlines the journey that the city of Londonderry (Derry), Northern Ireland, undertook when converting a traditional walled city to a... Sample PDF
Walled City to Wireless City
Chapter 16
Bantu L. Morolong
This chapter introduces the reader to the idea of city marketing. This idea has developed over time, globally, as cities continue to grow rapidly.... Sample PDF
Using Information Communication Technology to Decentralize City Marketing: Challenges and Opportunities
About the Contributors