Place marketing, place branding and foreign direct investments: Defining their relationship in the frame of local economic development process
Attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) constitutes one of the primary aims of the regions and cities, globally. In the new internationalized environment, places are characterized by a plurality of efforts to create their images based on their distinctive characteristics, and through this way to attract investments and specialized human resources. Traditional economic factors, such as agglomeration economies, access to the European and national markets, urban infrastructure, but also qualitative soft factors, such as the quality of life, urban aesthetic and local development policies, were considered as location criteria for business establishment in potential places. In this framework, the role of strategic planning, place marketing and branding has been increasingly important in Europe and all over the world. The aim of this article is to present, using a conceptual model, the FDI attraction through the use of place marketing process in order to provide answers in three critical points. First, how important and effective is place marketing as a tool in FDI. attraction? Second, what are the prerequisites for place marketing implementation so that FDI attraction becomes successful? Third, how important is branding on overall place marketing effectiveness? © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.