Revitalising rural Scotland: Loch Fyne, branding and belonging

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Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is twofold. It seeks to explore the relationship between place branding in rural areas and community building. Furthermore, the paper advances the growing body of work, that examines the role of events in destination revitalisation and competitiveness.
Design/methodology/approach
The methodological approach stems from the Chicago School of Sociology, and visual methodologies. The ethnographic fieldwork consisted of purposeful conversations with event organisers, social interactions with members of the local community and other event attendees, field notes and photographs.
Findings
The Loch Fyne Food Fair in Argyll and Bute highlights a manifold disjuncture between place marketing and place branding, which, in turn, reflects the different approaches to how cities and rural areas seek to remain competitive. The authenticity of the brand, as signalled through image and language, is a key feature of the event’s success, as is the creation of a welcoming and inclusive “third place” environment. The interdependence between the aesthetic, escapist, educational and entertainment realms of the Fair experience have helped to secure the loyalty of visitors and locals, alike.
Originality/value
The paper offers practical insights into the ways in which place branding can be deployed to sustain a successful rural event and extends knowledge of the status of events and festivals as third places. The case study demonstrates how paying careful attention to the elements of the experience economy can enrich the distinctiveness of a rural event.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Place Management and Development
Volume13
Issue number1
Early online date26 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Rural
  • Competitiveness
  • Community
  • Place branding
  • Economic development
  • Events

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