A context of increased competition between territories for attracting investments and people has led the cities to implement Marketing and Branding strategies. Those strategies should be adapted in order to fit the cities’ requirements and needs, consequently city managers and planners have to be initiated to those techniques. The city’s image is a central item here. Every possible asset of the city should be enhanced to improve people’s perception of the city (residents but also potential residents and visitors).
The purpose of the present study was to identify the main points that Umeå can develop to improve its image. We needed then an insight of people’s perception of the city. Also we wanted to investigate how city planners of Umeå could use the event of hosting the European Capital of Culture event in 2014 by observing people’s perception of the event. Accordingly we designed a questionnaire and got 250 valid responses including 70 from Swedish respondents and 180 from non-Swedish respondents. The findings can be used as simple pieces of advice for the city managers and planners of the city of Umeå and also to the Umeå Capital of Culture event’s staff.
To conduct our survey, we used a quantitative method and a non-probability sampling technique: the convenience one. The two versions of our questionnaire (in English and in Swedish) are composed of 28 questions divided identically in 3 parts (the first one being about the general image of the city, the second one being about the city’s performances in specific areas and the third one being about the European Capital of Culture event). We used mainly Likert-scales questions (composed of 5 items with 1 being “Totally Disagree” or “Not important at all” and 5 being “Totally Agree” or “Very Important”).
We found that among the areas investigated, culture had the greater impact on people’s perception of the city. So promoting cultural activity is a great ingredient in the “city-marketing mix”. Also the perception of the city’s economy can influence the image of this same city. Finally tourism is also a significant element of the “city-marketing mix” since it allows the image of the city to be spread all over the world.
Source: Umeå University
Author: Balencourt, Amélie | Curado Zafra, Antonio