A growing need to strengthen ones position on the market, even as a city in competition with other cities, has resulted in an increasing number of municipalities developing brand platforms. When the city of Umeå developed their platform, they identified decision makers and investors as one of four important target groups.
The aim of this study is to explore the portrayed image of the city of Umeå in two Swedish trade journals which addresses the specific target group decition makers and investors in both public and private sector. The aim is also to compare the image of Umeå in the two papers, to the ambition of the municipality, expressed in the brand platform.
In order to make the observations as firmly established as possible, the method of the study is a combination of a quantitative content analysis and a qualitative text analysis. The study draws on the theories of Eli Avraham and Philip Kotler, concerning how to improve city images and how to market a specific city among others. The study shows that the city of Umeå in large extent is portrayed in accordance to the ambition which the municipality expressed in the brand platform.
Umeå is displayed as an expanding city. The geographical position in the north of Sweden seems to be an advantage, and the public transport to the rest of Sweden and Europe are more than sufficient. Further, Umeå is portrayed as a strong university town and therefore in possession of qualified work force. A tendency is observed, that journalists write about Umeå’s use of technical innovation in different areas, which shows off Umeå as at front edge.
The commercial life in Umeå comes through as well-functioning, with the exception of reports of struggling industries which most likely in no great extent affects the city image.
The public sector is also portrayed positive, except for the articles concerning local politics, which reflects negatively. However, regardless of the positive representation of Umeå in the two papers, reports of the city seem to be very few. Therefore, the most important action is not to improve the image of Umeå, but to increase the reports of the city in papers addressing the target group, and by doing so moving Umeå higher on their list of candidates when choosing a city to establish new activity in.
2010. , 64 p.