Purpose: In response to global competitive challenges, universities recently started developing better strategies for branding. Branding has been used as a differentiation strategy for higher education institutions. As the number of universities (public and private) has increased, so has the competition for students, the universities in Turkey have faced similar challenges. The main objective of this study is to investigate, from the students' perspective, the role of interactions of brand equity dimensions in creating a strong university brand. Design/methodology/approach: Compiling from the literature, the study used a survey instrument to collect data at a comprehensive public university in Turkey. To assure representation of students across the campus, the sample included students at freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior and graduate levels from all major colleges. Findings: Based on 1,300 usable surveys from students across all colleges of a major state university, the PLS-SEM model revealed significant relationships among the brand equity dimensions of brand awareness, perceived quality, brand association, learning environment, emotional environment, brand trust, brand loyalty and university reputation. These brand dimensions collectively and/or individually influence the students' university learning experiences that may result in creating strong university brand equity. Research limitations/implications: The study was conducted at a government-owned university in Turkey capturing only students' perceptions. Future research could benefit from perceptions of other stakeholders like faculty, staff, alumni, and parents and testing the relationships for different types of universities. This study discusses the implications for developing university branding strategies. Originality/value: The study empirically tests the validity and effects of the university brand equity dimensions with Turkish university students using structural equation modeling (SEM). It confirms that the measures of brand equity dimensions are also applicable in a different country.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management