Branding the city of Sapporo: An innovation and network approach

Keith Dinnie, Hideyuki Tanaka, Edgar Centeno

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The purpose of this study is to analyse the city branding of Sapporo, a major city in the north of Japan, from an innovation and network perspective. To do this, a qualitative, exploratory approach was employed, comprising a series of semi-structured interviews with key figures involved in Sapporo’s city branding. Applying thematic analysis to the interview data, the authors present findings related to the following dimensions of the city’s brand strategy: the key elements of the city brand; the role of innovation in Sapporo’s city branding; the extent to which a network approach is adopted; the main target audiences for the city brand; and, the extent to which Sapporo’s city brand mes-sage is adapted for different target audiences. The results indicate that innovation and a network approach both play a significant role in Sapporo’s city branding. The city brand’s target audience is limited, however, and may benefit from a more diversified approach,particularly with regard to internationalising the Sapporo city brand.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)254-264
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Town and City Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • City branding
    • network approach
    • innovation
    • Sapporo


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