Department of Marketing

Associate professor

Room: SOL/D3.39
Primary research areas
  • Place marketing and branding (e.g., city branding and nation branding)
  • Tourism and destination brands
  • Brand complexity and brand management
  • Consumer research in the area of (brand) identification
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Sebastian achieved his doctoral degree at the University of Hamburg (Germany), where he also worked as an external Lecturer (2007–2010). He gained international experience as visiting scholar at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands) where he worked as postdoctoral student and visiting Assistant Professor (2011–2014). Furthermore, he is a member of the interdisciplinary RespectResearchGroup and worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Technical University Berlin (Germany; 2013–2014).

In his current research, he concentrates on places as brands, place brand perception and on the management of place brands. Furthermore, he is interested in the field of tourism and destination branding, especially in the differences between the place perception between tourists and residents. Sebastian’s work was presented at various international conferences, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journals, such as the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Psychology & Marketing, or Environment and Planning A.

  • Marketing and Creative Processes
  • City Branding and Tourism
  • Scientific Marketing Project



To insure an effective supervision, Sebastian is supervising a maximum of three master theses per year. He has supervised several theses at different universities (CBS, University of Hamburg and Erasmus University Rotterdam) and is currently only supervising place marketing and/or tourism topics. Due to his research background, he prefers more quantitative approaches. Furthermore, he only supervises in English.

If you want to suggest a master thesis topic, please write a short summery of your research question including an argumentation for its scientific relevance. 


Selected publications
  • Zenker, S.; Braun, E.; Petersen, S. (2017). Branding the destination versus the place: The effects of brand complexity and identification for residents and visitors. Tourism Management, 58: 15-27.
  • Erfgen, C.; Zenker, S.; Sattler, H. (2015). The vampire effect: When do celebrity endorsers harm brand recall?  International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32(2): 155-163.
  • Petersen, S.; Schroijen, M.; Moelders, C.; Zenker, S.; Van den Bergh, O. (2014). Interoceptive categorization: the role of perceptual organization on processing sensations from inside. Psychological Science, 25(5): 1059-1066.
  • Zenker, S.; Petersen, S. (2014). An integrative theoretical model for improving resident-city identification. Environment and Planning A, 46(3): 715-729.
  • Zenker, S.; Gollan, T.; Van Quaquebeke, N. (2014). Using polynomial regression analysis and response surface methodology to make a stronger case for value congruence in place marketing. Psychology & Marketing, 31(3): 184-202.
  • Schnittka, O.; Sattler, H.; Zenker, S. (2012). Advanced brand concept maps: a new approach for evaluating the favorability of brand association networks. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(3): 265-274.
Publications & dissemination
Sebastian Zenker; Erik Braun; Sibylle Petersen / Branding the Destination Versus the Place : The Effects of Brand Complexity and Identification for Residents and Visitors.
In: Tourism Management, Vol. 58, 2.2017, p. 15-27
Journal article
Erik Braun; Jasper Eshuis; Erik-Hans Klijn; Sebastian Zenker / Improving Place Reputation : Do an Open Place Brand Process and an Identity-image Match Pay Off?.
In: Cities, 24.8.2017
Journal article
Sebastian Zenker / Partizipation im Stadtmarketing : Wie aus Bürgern Markenbotschafter werden.
In: Städte als Marken 2: Herausforderungen und Horizonte. . ed. /Thorsten Kausch; Peter Pirck; Peter Strahlendorf. Hamburg : New Business Verlag 2017, p. 26-31
Book chapter
Sebastian Zenker; Erik Braun / Questioning a “One Size Fits All” City Brand : Developing a Branded House Strategy for Place Brand Management.
In: Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2017, p. 270-287
Journal article
Jasper Eshuis; Erik Braun; Erik-Hans Klijn; Sebastian Zenker / The Differential Effect of Various Stakeholder Groups in Place Marketing
In: Environment and Planning C: Government & Policy, 17.8.2017, p. 1-21
Journal article
Christine Vallaster; Sylvia von Wallpach; Sebastian Zenker / The Interplay Between Urban Policies and Grassroots City Brand Co-creation and Co-destruction During the Refugee Crisis : Insights From the City Brand Munich (Germany).
In: Cities, 24.7.2017
Journal article
Sebastian Zenker; Erik Braun; Jasper Eshuis; Erik-Hans Klijn / Communicate the Right Way : The Effectiveness of Different Communication Activities for Destination Branding.
Abstract from The Inaugural Conference of the International Place Branding Association, 2016
Conference abstract for conference
Dominic Medway; Cathy Parker; Sebastian Zenker / Consumption, Place and Semiotics : Around the World in Fridge Magnets.
In: Proceedings of the 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places: Thinking and Re-thinking About Places. . ed. /Heather Skinner; Alex Christou; Pepé Soomers; Christina Panagiotidou. Manchester : Institute of Place Management 2016, p. 108-111
Article in proceedings
Erik Braun; Sebastian Zenker; Jasper Eshuis; Erik-Hans Klijn / Getting Them All On Board : Increasing Brand Adoption and Reducing Conflicts in Place Branding.
Abstract from The Inaugural Conference of the International Place Branding Association, 2016
Conference abstract for conference
Sebastian Zenker; Robert Govers / The Current Academic Debate Calls for Critical Discussion
In: Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2016, p. 1-4
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