The Baltic Region

2017 Vol. 9 № 3

Back to the list Download an article

Identifying Key Stakeholder Groups for Implementing a Place Branding Policy in Saint Petersburg



Regional brands have become a valuable intangible asset and a crucial competitive resource for forging partnerships. An effective place branding policy is impossible without a precise understanding of the interests of stakeholder groups. It is essential to realize that each region is unique in its own way. Territories differ in the structure of stakeholders, their influence on regional development, and the range of leverages over regional decision-makers. This study aims to give a more precise definition of key groups of stakeholders in Saint Petersburg place branding, and to identify them. The authors employ the method of theoretical and empirical typology of a territory’s stakeholders within a theoretical framework proposed by E. Freeman, P. Kotler, S. Zenker, and E. Brown. The article defines the concept of key regional stakeholders and identifies them. The proposed target audience (stakeholder group) model for a place branding policy is tested on the case of Saint Petersburg. The authors show that each target audience of place marketing requires an individual policy. This is explained by the fact that each group enjoys its unique features that should be taken into account when creating and transmitting messages.


1. Scarlet Sails "recognized the best urban event in Europe, 2016, Radio Baltika, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
2. Grinchel, B. M. 2012, Competitive advantages and competitive potential of the regions of the North-West, Vestnik INZhEKONA= Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo gosudarstvennogo ekonomicheskogo universiteta. Seriya ekonomika [Herald of INJEChON. Series of economics = Bulletin of the St. Petersburg State Economic University], no. 3 (54), p. 90—98. (in Russ.)
3. Grinchel, B. M. 2007, Assessment of the competitive potential of the regions of the North-West of Russia, Ekonomika Severo-Zapada: problemyi i perspektivyi razvitiya [Economics of the North-West: Problems and Prospects for Development], no. 3 (33), p. 55—67. (in Russ.)
4. Grinchel, B. M., Nazarova, E. A. 2014, Metodyi otsenki konkurentnoy privlekatelnosti regionov [Methods for assessing the competitive attractiveness of regions], St. Petersburg, p. 28.
5. Dyiba, E. A. 2016, The influence of the University on the formation of the urban environment, HVII Aprelskaya mezhdunarodnaya nauchnaya konferentsiya po problemam razvitiya ekonomiki i obschestva [XVII April International Scientific Conference on the Problems of Development of the Economy and Society], Moscow, p. 8.
6. Kotler, Ph., Asplund, K., Rein, I., Hayder, D. 2005, Marketing mest [Marketing places], St. Petersburg, p. 54. (in Russ.)
7. Kotov, A. I. Quality of life as a tool for innovative economic development, Nauchno-tehnicheskie vedomosti SPbGPU. Ekonomicheskie nauki [Scientific and technical statements SPbSPU. Economic sciences], no. 1(211), p. 93—101. (in Rus.)
8. Kulibanova, V. V., Teor, T. R. 2016, Innovative branding tools of territories: concept, essence, application features, Nauchno-tehnicheskie vedomosti Sankt-Peterburgskogo gosudarstvennogo politehnicheskogo universiteta. Ekonomicheskie nauki [Scientific and technical lists of the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University. Economic sciences], no. 6 (256), p. 122—129. (in Russ.)
9. Innovative infrastructure, Committee on Industrial Policy and Innovation of St. Petersburg, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
10. Truskova, Ye. 2007, Is it easy for a newcomer to get a job in Petersburg? SPb., available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
11. Mereminskaya, E. 2016, Gosudarev's share, Vedomosti, 29 Sept., p. 4. (in Russ.) 
12. Is it possible to find a nonresident resident work in St. Petersburg, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
13. New investors are attracted to St. Petersburg exchange rate difference, 2016, TV Channel Saint-Petersburg, Sept. 14, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
14. Podvedenie itogov turisticheskogo sezona 2016 [Summing up the results of the tourist season 2016], 2017, Report of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg. (in Russ.)
15. Konferentsiya «Sankt-Peterburg — gorod-brend» [Conference "St. Petersburg — city-brand"], Vedomosti, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
16. Saint Petersburg restaurant festival-2016, 2016, Visit Petersburg, St. Petersburg Official City Guide, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
17. North-West Federal District: features and directions of regional development, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). 
18. Sotsialno-ekonomicheskaya strategiya razvitiya Sankt-Peterburga do 2030 goda. Razvitie nauki i innovatsionnoy deyatelnosti [Socio-economic development strategy of St. Petersburg until 2030. Development of science and innovation], available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
19. Audit Chamber: the growth of debts of the regions has a negative impact on the economy, 2016, Parlamentskaya gazeta [The Parliamentary Newspaper], Nov. 3, p. 2. (in Russ.)
20. St. Petersburg Technopark, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017).
21. Enough to feed someone? Subsidized regions and "donors" of Russia, 2016, Griffon, 28 November, available at: (accessed 01.03.2017). (in Russ.)
22. Anholt, S. 2010, Definitions of place branding — Working towards a resolution, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 6, p. 1—10. DOI:
23. Araújo de Azevedo, J. A., Ferreira Custódio, J. M., Antunes Perna, P. F. 2013, «Are you happy here?»: the relationship between quality of life and place attachment, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 6, no. 2, p. 102—119. DOI:
24. Beckmann, S. C., Zenker, S. 2012, Place Branding: A Multiple Stakeholder Perspective, 41st European Marketing Academy Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, p. 2.
25. Balakrishnan, M. S. 2008, Dubai — A star in the east: A case study in strategic destination branding, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 1, p. 62—91. DOI:
26. Berg, P. O., Sevón, G. 2015, Food-branding places — A sensory perspective, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 10, no. 4, p. 289—304. DOI:
27. Braun, E., Kavaratzis, M., Zenker, S. 2013, My city — my brand: the different roles of residents in place branding, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 6, no. 1, p. 18—28. DOI: https://doi. org/10.1108/17538331311306087.
28. Govers, R. 2011, From place marketing to place branding and back, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 7, p. 227—231. DOI:
29. Duranton, G., Martin, Ph., Mayeris, F. 2008, Les pôles de compétitivité. Que peut-on en attendre? Paris, P. 25.
30. Freeman, R. E. 1984, Strategic Management: A stakeholder approach, Boston, p. 46.
31. Kavaratzis, M. 2012, From «necessary evil» to necessity: stakeholders' involvement in place branding, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 5, no. 1, p. 7—19. DOI:
32. Kavaratzis, M., Ashworth, G. 2008, Place marketing: how did we get here and where are we going? Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 1, no. 2, p. 150—165. DOI:
33. Kavaratzis, M., Hatch, M. J. 2013, The Dynamics of Place Brands: Anidentity Based Approach to Place Branding Theory, Marketing Theory, Vol. 13, no. 1, p. 1—18. DOI:
34. Silva Oliveira, E. H. 2015, Place branding in strategic spatial planning: A content analysis of development plans, strategic initiatives and policy documents for Portugal 2014—2020, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 8, no. 1, p. 23—50. DOI:
35. Snieska, V., Zykiene, I. 2015, City attractiveness for investment: characteristics and underlying factors, 20th International Scientific Conference Economics and Management — 2015, Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 213, p. 48—54. DOI:
36. Swanson, K. 2017, Destination brand love: managerial implications and applications to tourism businesses, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 10, no. 1, p. 88—97. DOI:
37. Zenker, S., Braun, E. 2010, The Place Brand Centre — A Conceptual Approach for Place Branding and Place Brand Management, 39th European Marketing Academy Conference, Copenhagen, p. 3.