Exploring the dimensions of place branding: an application of the ICON model to the branding of Toronto

Giannina Warren, Keith Dinnie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    719 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the place branding dimensions of a city undergoing a concerted effort to build a distinctive brand for itself. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative, exploratory approach is adopted, applying the ICON model of place branding to the multistakeholder city branding strategy of Toronto. A combination of interviews, participant observation, content analysis and professional reflection inform the study. Findings: Toronto?s emergence as a creative city with global standing has been achieved, in part, through a holistic and collaborative approach that is integrated, contextualized, organic and new. Practical implications: Place and destination promoters are offered a practical application of the ICON model of place branding, informing future initiatives and offering insight into good practice. Originality/value: Viewed through the lens of the ICON model, the paper provides insights into the collaborative and innovate practices that characterize effective city branding.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-68
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


    • Toronto
    • Place branding
    • City branding
    • Creative city
    • ICON model


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