عنوان مقاله [English]
Beside cultural, historical and natural attractions, the city of Rasht has been selected as one of the ten most creative gastronomy cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Therefore, there is a desirable position to raise the mental image of the city brand and gain economic and social benefits accordingly. This study, hence, is an initial attempt to create a new approach to the study of branding in the city of Rasht through identifying a set of symbolic resources to visualize the city. This study examines the descriptions and perceptions of the city of Rasht from the symbolic perspective and specifically attempts to design the story of the Rasht brand through identifying the symbolic themes of the city in various media. The present study, as a preliminary and exploratory study, seeks to answer these questions: “what are Rasht’s fantasy themes (as symbolic realities) reported in the media?” and “how is the story of Rasht brand defined based on symbolic facts?”
In this study, using the fantasy theme analysis method (FTA), it is examined how the city of Rasht is portrayed in the studied media from the perspective of centrality of food and other attractions. This method examines convergence in texts to discover a deeper system of meaning through new experiences that are imagined and interpreted. In fact, FTA is a grounded theory that contradicts the hypothetico-deductive model of research and inductively examines textual, auditory, and visual data. The statistical population of this study includes all the contents published in personal, acquired and shared media regarding Rasht brand.
Seven fantasy themes were identified as symbolic realities of Rasht city as a result of reviewing the convergence of the content of the texts published in the media including: nature dance on Rasht heavenly table; cultural museum of food; adventurous eating habits of Rasht; the nature of Gilan's public culture in the world's largest bazaar; souvenirs and gifts, cultural ambassadors of Rasht; the architecture of the world and time; and the land of the Great. Therefore, applying the symbolic realities, the proposed story of Rasht brand was designed.
Successful city brands must inspire the public and create good feelings and associations. The brand of the city must describe the image of the city and stimulate human emotions and imagination based on the values and beliefs of the city. As a result, the contents in the media regarding the city's symbolic realities must be developed in a way to impress the audience.