Welcome to PIM

PIM is a new framework for innovative and sustainable Place Branding. It was created by Tendensor in cooperation with 60 Place Brand professionals in the Nordic countries.

PIM is free to use for anyone and the network of PIM users is growing. Tendensor provides the training and support you need (paid services).  Feel free to familiarise yourself with PIM and adapt it your local circumstances.


Per Ekman
Founder & CEO
Tendensor, Sweden

Why PIM?

PIM has been built on the experiences of Place Branding teams and professionals in Nordic cities and regions. Success factors and obstacles have been carefully mapped out.

We’d like to highlight two pieces of insight that we’ve learnt along the way. First, nowadays Place Branding is seen as a vital tool for transformation and for building trusting relations with a wide range of place audiences. Second, Place Branding often fails due to campaign-oriented approaches and a lack of dedicated leadership support.

PIM is based on these two insights. The model embraces the idea of a place ecosystem of free actors who can co-create the place’s brand values. This calls for a new way of leading Place Branding that better captures engagement and creates coordinated action across the place ecosystem.


The Nordic Lights project

PIM is based on the findings of the Nordic Lights project involving 17 Nordic cities and regions. The aim of the project was to pave the way for the future of Nordic Place Branding in times of innovation and change.

Organising PIM

PIM requires a set of roles – the partnership, team and master – in order to build cross-ecosystem involvement in Place Branding. The three roles can be established independently of how the organisational structure of the place looks today.

The most important cornerstone is the PIM Team. This is a cross-functional team that masters the three capabilities Think-Feel-Do, and offers brand support to leaders and teams in all sectors. They are approved and financially supported by the PIM Partnership.

Through the PIM framework, the whole ecosystem can be oriented towards a brand mindset. This replaces the old idea of assigning Place Branding to a single actor like a DMO.

Image alt

The PIM Partnership

As the backbone of the Place Branding ecosystem, the PIM partnership is an alliance of key stakeholders that sets the overall goals and secures long-term commitment.


Image alt

The PIM Team

This is a cross-functional operational team that serves as the hub of PIM. The team supports leaders and teams around the ecosystem with brand insights and tools.


Image alt

The PIM Master

The PIM Master is the coordinator of the PIM team. An inspiring leader who creates trust and a sense of urgency in Place Branding.

Full role descriptions and practical how-to guides are provided in the PIM handbook.

The PIM Capabilities

All too often, Place Branding is described as a linear process. This is rarely how it happens though, and it does not match today’s demands for agile performance in times of innovation and change.

Instead, places need to invest in a range of strategic capabilities that can be used continuously. In the PIM framework, these capabilities are categorized as Think, Feel and Do. Together, they build a foundation for agile, yet sustainable Place Branding.

The PIM team can cooperate with other teams and experts to master the three capabilities. They must be capable of working proactively (taking initiative) and capturing external opportunities that arise.


An in-depth understanding of people, places and trends. Transforming insights into action and brand communication.


Building trustful relations with citizens and other target groups. Creating credible and engaging dialogue and brand communication.


Creating the total place experience. Building the capacity to attract and welcome target audiences and to nurture innovation.

A wide range of Think-Feel-Do concepts and tools are provided in the PIM handbook.

PIM Brand Identity

PIM Brand Identity is a continuous explorative process for identifying and clarifying the unique character and values of the place. PIM proposes an Explore-Define-Express approach to manage and re-orientate the brand identity over time.

Furthermore, PIM introduces five brand dimensions that will help you form a progressive and, at the same time, authentic Place Brand, inspired from Nordic, change-oriented Place Branding.

The PIM Brand Identity rests in the hands of the PIM Team. The team actively involves citizens and businesses in building and communicating the brand story.

  • The narrative

    Where do we come from? What future do we want to create?

  • The global contribution

    What is our role in the world? How do we contribute to the global community?

  • Human values

    What do we value? How do we connect to a greater good?

  • Culture & Lifestyle

    What characterises the local way of life? What is the sense of place?

  • Authentic Expression

    What does the place feel and smell like? How to we connect in an open and honest way?

PIM Training & Consulting

Tendensor offers full training and support for organisations, teams and individuals who are interested in the PIM framework. These can be held both online and at the customer’s location.

We have a range of services to make it easy for cities and regions to find the most suitable starting point for their PIM journey. If you have special requests, please let us know.

About Tendensor

Tendensor is a Swedish consulting agency specialised in how places can create attractiveness and build the capacity to innovate. We see places as ecosystems of free actors with the potential to co-create. Tendensor’s clients are leaders and teams that are responsible for developing cities, regions, innovation hubs and tourist destinations.

Tendensor arranges leading-edge innovation and benchmarking projects (with partners) in order to identify tomorrow’s tools for Place Management. Such tools include the innovative frameworks Talent Attraction Management (TAM) and Business Attraction Management (BAM) (Nordic Place Academy), which are currently widely used both in the Nordic countries and around the world.

Tendensor website


Per Ekman

Founder & CEO Tendensor

Per Ekman has been a trusted consultant, speaker and trainer in the field of place development, place branding and change management since 2003. More than 1000 place leaders have been trained by Per over the years.

Per (age 51) lives in Kalmar on the east coast of Sweden with his wife and two teenage sons. His personal interests are competing in triathlons, travelling to cities, literature and digital media.