Using Mixed-Method Technique to Investigate Role of Local Governments in City Branding


  • Simangaliso Bayabonga Zulu University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Maxwell Phiri University of KwaZulu-Natal



mixed-methods, sequential design, local government, city branding.


Local governments provide a range of local services, preserve the life and liberty of residents, creating space for democratic participation and civic dialogue, supporting market-led and environmentally sustainable development. City branding supplies the principles for the city developing policy to sustain the local development. In other words, city branding means being powerful to face the increasing wild competition for resources, investment, and tourism facilities, both for addressing crucial social issues and cultural variation. The purpose of this study is (i) to investigate the role of local governments in city branding, (ii) to determine city branding contribution to local economic development (LED). Although there are plenty place branding techniques in the world, the success of the city branding strategy cannot be performed without the participation of a local government.

In addition, the current study selects the city of Durban in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa as the context of the study and a local government to focus on. The problem is that the city of Durban has not been successful at making the city competitive enough to attract the needed investments. The city officials have also not been effectively marketing the city to the world to make known of its inherent potentials. This study seeks to overcome this issue by developing city branding strategies. The city management need to take proactive action in implementing them to effectively market the city to the world.

To achieve objectives, the study adopts the form of a mixed-methods approach, using quantitative (survey questionnaire) and qualitative (in-depth interview) as methods and instruments for data collection. The study follows a sequential design starting with quantitative and followed by qualitative data collection. Since the study employs both quantitative and qualitative methods, both purposive sampling (for qualitative phase) and simple random sampling (for quantitative phase) techniques will be selected. The researcher selected participants from Durban municipality. The study’s sample size constitutes 350 participants (N=320 was surveyed) and (30 were interviewed). The researcher analysed the data collected with questionnaires through descriptive and inferential statistics and data collected using in-depth interviews through content analysis.

Author Biography

Maxwell Phiri, University of KwaZulu-Natal

College of Law and Management, School of Management, IT and Governance, Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain.