Destination branding : a case study of the Kruger National Park
Hood, Joseph William
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The conscious creation and marketing of a destination brand and image is a feature of the present age. Brands can affect tourists' choices and behaviour and are therefore important in destination marketing. Marketing organisations devote considerable time to creating brands and channelling them through various media sources to the target markets. The success of the destination brand can be measured and defined by the expectations of the tourists. This study measured the SANParks brand by focusing on the current Kudu logo. It was the first time such a brand measure was done on any of the South African National Parks. Measuring brands can be done either internally, by employees and management of SANParks, or externally through visitor questionnaires. This study focused on external measurement. Primary data was gathered by means of 618 (n=618) structured, self-completion electronic questionnaires. Twenty four perceptions and eight emotions related to the Kudu brand were tested. A factor analysis was conducted on the correlation of these pre-established perceptions and emotions. Three factors - a successful brand, service and a positive brand image emerged as perceptions. Two factors related to emotions were divided into positive and negative emotions towards the Kudu brand. The findings indicated that most respondents relate SANParks Kudu logo to only the Kruger National Park and respondents clearly indicated that they do not want the Kudu logo to change. This study proved the Kudu brand to be successful, but it is recommended that SANParks differentiate the Kudu logo to create a unique culture and identity for every National Park in South Africa.