PurposeThe paper aims to offer an approach that allows an analysis and construction of a typology of virtual city brand co-creation practices.Design/methodology/approachThe approach is illustrated by using data collected in regard to the branding of Stockholm; it is based on visual representations expressing the process in which brand co-creation unfolds in a network of different affective modalities.FindingsVirtual representations emerge as expressive trans-locations that obtain communicative qualities in which practices are included and also in which practices are constituted. Practices represent how experiencing is carried out by different stakeholders’ relationships and emotional interactions. They are labeled as contributing, using, esteeming and opposing. These practices constitute analytical abstraction that represent different power plays between the visual and material content of the images, the technologies of production and the display and performance of the virtual.Research limitations/implicationsThe focus on practices suggests a way to perform a critical analysis that could be used to research the performative process of co-creating brands in a way that the practices offer signals that can be used to grasp the dynamism of the process. Further, it suggests that the analysis of the practices in the virtual realm has the potential to unfold the material, nonlinear dynamic of communication that resides beyond forms of meaning and cognition.Practical implicationsThe offered approach posits an alternative view of co-creation in which the process is uncontrollable by any stakeholders involved; the process might therefore not have a start and end or it could start everywhere in the internet and can transform at any point in space-time.Originality/valueIt contributes to the research on performative place branding by problematizing the issue of agency. It does so by displaying the way in which the process of virtual city brand co-creation could be analyzed based on practices involving the co-construction of visualization and materialization. Analytically, by dealing with virtual representations where practices of brand co-creation unfold, such an approach also helps to unpack the consequences of those practices and can highlight the technologies that are used and the specific qualities of the visual objects enacted.
Journal of Place Management and Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 3, 2019
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