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Brand identification in higher education: a conditional process analysis

Palmer, A., Koenig-Lewis, N. and Asaad, Y. (2016) Brand identification in higher education: a conditional process analysis. Journal of Business Research, 69 (8). pp. 3033-3040. ISSN 0148-2963

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.01.018


The dimensions and dynamics of higher education brands remain excessively informed by general principles of branding, with inadequate empirical testing in the specific context. This paper advances understanding of brand identification in higher education by empirically assessing its antecedents and relating brand identification to brand loyalty and brand support as outcome variables, moderated by time since direct experience of the university. Results of a conditional process analysis with a sample of 791 alumni indicate that recalled academic and social experiences significantly influence brand identification, and that brand identification is a good predictor of alumni brand loyalty and brand support. While the direct effects of recalled academic and social experience on brand loyalty decrease over time, the indirect effect of academic experience on loyalty via brand identification increases, indicating that the mediation effect of brand identification becomes stronger with the passage of time. The study makes important theoretical contributions to the branding literature by emphasizing the mediating role of brand identification and by examining the moderating effects of time on these variables. The results also inform marketing of higher education, suggesting that universities which focus on offering great academic experiences to their students will be more effective in developing strong brand identification over time which in turn leads to greater brand loyalty and brand support.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:76192

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