Best Brands for the young and old alike

Is there anyone who has not heard about the arrival of the pandas at Pairi Daiza in 2014? Is there anyone who is still unaware of which animal is the Walibi mascot in Wallonia, and who the Plopsa characters in Flanders are? Theme parks are magical places for the little ones that we once were, and are also popular with the next generation. They are still always there for us too, even if we don’t dare to admit it.

Serviceplan has measured the popularity of 12 theme parks and other tourism centres in Belgium as part of the Best Brands Awards 2017, at GfK’s request. Pairi Daiza is unquestionably the place that Belgians love most. This is surprising, but ultimately very understandable: Pairi Daiza even squeezes into the Top 10 for all brands, where it ranks 6th.


This ranking is surprising, first of all, as it was hard to imagine what ranking a theme park might achieve, in view of the brands included in the Best Brands survey. It is quite understandable, however, when we see how attached the Belgian population is to the wildlife park. Pairi Daiza obtains a score of 97.68 out of 100 in the “Share of Soul” Category. This is one of the best three results for the 300 brands. Below Pairi Daiza, we find Center Parcs, Walibi, Plopsaland and Planckendael, which make up a relatively diverse Top 5.


In fact, what stands out in this ranking is the major difference that we see between wildlife parks and others. Pairi Daiza, Planckendael, and the Antwerp Zoo all obtain a higher Share of Soul than the others. This makes Pairi Daiza’s performance even more impressive, since the Brugelette Park has succeeded in blending the emotional attraction of a wildlife park with the broader attraction of a theme park, by combining a variety of animals with scenery that is worthy of a theme park.

This is true both of the experience provided, which is even more important in this category than in others, and of the relationship that unites brands and consumers: Pairi Daiza achieves impressive scores, which are significantly higher than those of its competitors in the sector.

This performance is reflected in all of the scores. We see that the Park, which is particularly famous for its pandas and baby elephants, is successfully developing a genuine brand image around the park in terms of customer loyalty, as well as of the brand’s diversification potential.

Derivative products and television programmes have contributed to disseminating Pairi Daiza’s image, not to mention the involvement of Marc Coucke, the joint owner of the Park, who represents a Belgian businessman who is highly focused on the country’s development in many people’s eyes.

As we have said previously, entertainment centres score more points in terms of Share of Wallet. It is specifically Center Parcs’ price premium that ensures its 2nd place. In the case of Walibi, the park with the kangaroo stands out in terms of customer loyalty. Over one person in every four who has been there recently says that they intend to return in the next few months. This result is close to those of the wildlife parks mentioned above. Walibi also has the ability to maximise its potential, thanks to an active brand equity of over 50%. This means that one out of every two people who state that they have a strong relationship with Walibi intends to go there soon. Only Pairi Daiza does better.

Center Parcs is considered as having a weak relationship by more respondents to the survey, again at the relationship level. This is by far the highest score in the Top 3. This is understandable, in view of the number of memorable experiences. In this case, we are talking about the experience in the park, as well as the related communications. This is more of a familiarity than a reputation issue in this case. Center Parcs is known by name, but not yet well known enough in terms of what the brand offers.

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