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Brand equity in higher education

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Purpose ‐ The potential to provide customers with information about experience and credence qualities in advance of purchase has resulted in widespread recognition of the significance of brands in relation to consumer choice in the service sector. Arguably, what is of particular significance in this process is brand equity ‐ the value that the consumer ascribes to the brand. The main objective of this research is to enhance academic understanding of brand equity in the higher education (HE) sector and explore the implications for management practice. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Quantitative data collected via a self-completion survey are used to test a model of brand equity in the context of HE. The empirical setting is Egypt which, following liberalization, has a mixture of public and private provision and an increasingly competitive environment. It provides an example of an emerging market where building brand equity is likely to be an important component of organizational strategy. Findings ‐ The results provide partial support for the proposed conceptual model, with image-related determinants of brand equity being far more significant than awareness-related determinants. Practical implications ‐ For those involved in marketing service brands, the asymmetric impact of various determinants of brand equity provides guidance on how and where to focus marketing efforts. Originality/value ‐ The distinctive contribution of this research arises from the examination of brand equity in the context of an emerging service sector market with a mix of public and private provision.

Keywords: Brand equity; Consumer behaviour; Egypt; Emerging markets; Higher education; Services marketing

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-06-21

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