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Brand Perception of Music Festivals: UK Festivals Case

Student: Anastasiia Osipova

Supervisor: Julia Trabskaya

Faculty: St.Petersburg School of Economics and Management

Educational Programme: Management (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

The contemporary music industry provides festival-goers with a wide selection of festivals to attend. In order to choose the right one, people carefully assess festival brands. One of the tools used in the selection process is perception: how the brand appears to be in customers’ minds. Positive perception can lead to further purchase decisions, and negative can defer one from it. Brand perception mostly depends on internal aspects of customers’ minds, but is there something a festival itself can do to make the perception better, stimulate an interest in their brand? This study aims to find whether attributes of festivals play a role in perception formation, as well as to establish any other influential factors, all in order to advance the understanding of consumer behaviour. Festival attributes are seen as features that distinguish festivals from other events, such as the line-up of artists. Using a mixed-method approach, this paper explores brand perception that 10 most popular UK music festivals induce. British festivals are some of the best-known in the world – such as Glastonbury –, they contribute highly to the country’s economy, and play an important role in people’s lives – both British residents and tourists. The main methods of data analysis are correlation and linear regression analyses, as well as qualitative content analysis. Firstly, festival attributes have been revealed through the analysis of literature. Secondly, 408 questionnaire responses and 500 digital footprints have been collected and analyzed in order to define underlying perceptions. Finally, it has been found that Line-up is the most influential festival attribute for perception formation along with Experience and Facilities. Audience’s behaviour and Values of the brand have also proven to be important. This paper contributes to the theory by combining marketing and festival studies to explore a topic that has not been properly studied yet and providing a better understanding of customer brand perception of festivals and their behaviour. Practical implications are presented as suggestions for festival managers on how to improve brand perception of their festivals.

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