Tourist perceptions of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival's corporate brand
The primary objective of this study was to assess the brand effectiveness of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) by means of analysing brand associations and festival experiences. This goal was achieved by firstly determining the different brand associations and the role of brand experience in festival branding through a literature study. Based on the literature study a questionnaire was developed and a survey was conducted to analyse brand associations in festival branding and determine the influence of demographic characteristics on festival associations, as well as determining the relationship between the experience and festival branding. Brand associations form part of the brand value chain and is particularly important for measuring the strength, favourabillity and uniqueness of perceived attributes of the brand. If the brand associations are positive, brands can be of great value to festivals. Well established brands are an indication of quality which may encourage satisfied festinos to visit the festival again. This could make the festival more sustainable and able to withstand economic difficulties. The brand experience on the other hand plays an important role in the successful presentation of the arts festival which improves competitiveness. A successful brand reflects the image and possible experiences with the tourism product and also conveys a promise of a quality experience. Research was undertaken at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival to determine the demographic profile of visitors, to analyse the brand associations in festival branding and the influence of demographic variables on festival associations and finally the assessment of the brand (logo) and the visitor's experience. A similar study was conducted in 2007 for South African National Parks (SANParks) (Slabbert, Saayman, Oberholzer & Dreyer, 2007:118) and served as a pilot study to measure brand effectiveness. The questionnaire used in this study was based on the SANParks questionnaire however adapted after an in-depth theoretical analysis. A total of 394 questionnaires were completed by visitors. Firstly, the data was used to compile tables and graphs with a view to interpret the descriptive data: demographic information, the underlying patterns of reported brand associations, the festival experience, emotions towards the brand and finally the relationship between age and the festival experience. By means of a factor analysis, the brand association factors were identified: brand judgments, brand attributes and brand performance. The associations were found to be positive which add value to current marketing strategies. Secondly, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to explore the influence of demographic variables on the dimensions of brand judgment, brand attributes and brand performance. It was found that there are no significant differences between the demographic variables and the three identified factors. In terms of the festival experience it was found that factors such as the wide variety of productions available and the fact that it is a festival for the whole family, has the greatest influence on the festival experience. It is clear that respondents have positive emotions towards the brand with excitement (3.862) and anticipation (3.757) having the highest mean values. After analysing the means and standard deviations for the demographic variables on the brand experience it was found that none of these variables seem to have a significant influence except for the variable age. Younger visitors seem to be more satisfied with the overall festival experience than the older market. They are also more loyal towards the festival. Finally, in terms of the emotions evoked by the logo, respondents agreed that the logo evoked emotions of pride and trust. This study contributes to the information that already exists concerning brand associations and the role of experience in festival branding.