Creating a stir: the role of word of mouth in reputation management in the context of festivals

Luonila, M., Suomi, K. and Johansson, M. (2016) Creating a stir: the role of word of mouth in reputation management in the context of festivals. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 16(4), pp. 461-483. (doi: 10.1080/15022250.2015.1113646)

155377.pdf - Accepted Version



This qualitative case study examines the role of word of mouth (WOM) in reputation management in the context of networked festival productions. Particularly, it explores the ways in which WOM marketing (WOMM) is employed in festival marketing and brand-building. The paper links reputation and WOM to the concept of cultural branding with the aim of providing a framework for analysing how a festival's reputation shapes the creation of a culturally meaningful message. The empirical analysis is based on a multiple-case study involving three Finnish festivals hosted in the city of Pori: the Porispere Festival, the International Pori Jazz Festival and the International Lain§uojattomat Theatre Festival. The cases represent festivals of different sizes and varying organisational structure, content and life cycle. The findings indicate that the meaning and use of WOMM vary depending on key constitutive differences that affect the nature of the festivals’ reputation and brand-building processes. Although the importance of external and internal stakeholders in these processes is evident, it seems that when the power of networks is recognised as crucial for festivals, WOM has a leveraging role in reputation management and brand-building. In these processes, the value of the festival leader's persona becomes crucial.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johansson, Dr Marjana
Authors: Luonila, M., Suomi, K., and Johansson, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1502-2269
Published Online:15 December 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis
First Published:First published in Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 16(4):461-483
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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