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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 14488
Co-branding in a non-corporate context: A case study of the Guggenheim Helsinki museum initiative
Author: Matilainen, Kristine
Title: Co-branding in a non-corporate context: A case study of the Guggenheim Helsinki museum initiative
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kulttuurin markkinointi; arts marketing; museot; museums; kaupungit; towns; brandit; brands; imago; image
Pages: 62
Key terms: brand image, co-branding, city branding, museum branding, brand architecture
Purpose of the study The aim of my research was to examine the ways in which co-branding is conducted in a non-corporate setting, and in the case of a place brand and a museum brand. The case of interest was the Guggenheim Helsinki Museum initiative that began in 2011 and resulted in the rejection of the museum proposal in 2012. Brand image was used as a lens through which the relevant brands were examined first separately and then in a co-branding architecture context. The perspective was that of the city practitioner's.

Methodology My research methodology was qualitative research and my research strategy was a single-case study. The empirical research was conducted by way of semi-structured interviews. The interview questions were outlined based on themes that reflected the proposed theoretical framework. The interviewees consisted of researchers, experts and scholars in the field of urban studies in Helsin-ki. The interview data was analyzed using description, categorization and combination, and fur-thermore, thematization.

Findings Despite the fact that the museum was never realized, the perceptions and images of how it could have been were strong, further strengthened by the feasibility study and the public discussion that surrounded the process. The results suggested that from the city's perspective, a co-branding strategy with a museum brand results in that of secondary co-branding. Here, the dominant brand, i.e. Guggenheim, modifies the secondary brand, i.e. the city brand, by attaching new associ-ations to it. However, the results also suggested that attaching Guggenheim to Helsinki created negative associations in Helsinki's brand image. In a cultural context, importing an international museum brand to leverage the city's brand image was seen as unfitting, diluting the local character of Helsinki. Uniqueness and cultural characteristics specific to Finland or Helsinki were regarded as an asset from which to build Helsinki's brand image.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.