Marketing and branding strategy for the South Baltic Sea Region: reinforcing regional innovation in SMEs through cross-border collaboration models in the age of transformation
South Baltic Sea Region (SBSR) is one of the EU cross-border regions that due to the patchy development patterns qualifies for EU financial support reinforcing innovation capacity and promoting collaborative and competitive mindset. Historically shaped by international collaboration patterns across the Baltic Sea, the SBSR turns into maritime or blue EU region. Being an integral part of the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) that has developed as role model for sustainable, green and smart region in the recent years, SBSR experiences increasing pace of change and the urge for sustainable transition. This creates a real conundrum for appropriate regional action. In this light, in the frame of the “InterMarE South Baltic” – a part-financed EU INTERREG project the researchers set out to contribute to situational improvement by developing tailor-made cooperative and region-wide Marketing and Banding Strategy for regional SMEs of all Blue Economy sectors. A joint macro-regional positioning strategy for the SBSR is highly missing and available strategic attempts can be traced back to joint marketing measures in the tourism sector only. Therefore, building on eclectic empirical data covering more than 130 surveyed SMEs from all participating countries – Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, supported by expert interviews with representatives of Blue Economy sectors in the SBSR and BSR, direct observations and field research done in the frame of study visits outside the region, this treatise presents an innovative, integrative and topical cooperative model for joint cross-border marketing and branding of SMEs operating in the SBSR in all applicable Blue Economy sectors.
marketing strategy, regional branding, branding strategy, South Baltic Sea Region, Blue Economy, regional innovation, SMEs
M31 , R11 , O31 , O41
FundingThis research was supported by the Interreg project “InterMarE South Baltic” project that was implemented in the frame of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 from July 2017 to Jun 2021. The project is based on the research and practical gaps highlighting the needs to support maritime SMEs in economic development by increasing their visibility under one joint regional brand.
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