Volume 13, Issue 9 e12462
ARTICLE

Catching the whale: A comparison of place promotion strategies through the lens of Amazon HQ2

Adams B. Nager

Adams B. Nager

Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

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Allison S. Lowe Reed

Allison S. Lowe Reed

Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

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W. Scott Langford

Corresponding Author

W. Scott Langford

Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Correspondence

W. Scott Langford, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Email: [email protected]

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First published: 16 July 2019
Citations: 5

Abstract

Identifying potential sites for firm relocation or expansion is a negotiated process that involves both firms and localities. Some firms focus on profit enhancement through cost minimization, while others seek qualities that maximize talent attraction and benefit corporate identity. Simultaneously, localities seek to maximize the economic welfare for residents through job creation and place-based economic development strategies. The purpose of this work is to examine how localities use place promotion strategies to attract relocating or expanding firms based on analysis of proposals submitted by communities in response to the 2017 Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposals. Our results support literature streams that argue quality of life and talent attraction, as well as cost are priorities for place-based economic development strategies. We present a complete picture of place promotion strategies that localities use to differentiate themselves and avoid competing only on cost in the competitive marketplace of corporate recruiting.