Abstract: There is no doubt that place branding is a powerful and ubiquitous practice deployed around the globe. Parallel to its acceptance and development as a distinct discipline is an understanding that place branding as responsible practice offers the means to achieve widespread economic, social and cultural benefits. Drawing on work around place and identity in cultural geography and cultural studies, this paper engages critically with this vision. Specifically, it challenges the widely-held assumption that the relationship between place branding and place identity is fundamentally reflective, arguing instead that this relationship is inherently generative. This shift in perspective, explored in relation to current responsible place branding practice, is central to the realisation of place branding as a force for good.