IMC antecedents and the consequences of planned brand identity in Higher Education

Foroudi, P, Dinnie, K, Kitchen, PJ ORCID:, Melewar, TC and Foroudi, M 2017, 'IMC antecedents and the consequences of planned brand identity in Higher Education' , European Journal of Marketing, 51 (3) , pp. 528-550.

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Purpose – This study identifies the IMC antecedents and consequences of brand awareness, image, reputation and identification in the context of higher education, and empirically tests a number of hypotheses related to the aforementioned constructs. Design/methodology/approach – This research design marshalling explanatory research involving data collection comprised semi-structured interviews and focus groups in the preliminary stage of this research. This along with a review of the literature informed the conceptual framework. The model was tested in a survey carried out among stakeholders in two London-based Universities. Structural equation modelling with AMOS was conducted to get insight into the various influences and relationships. Findings – The study gains new knowledge relating to university’s brand awareness in image, reputation, and identification formation. Specifically, the authors identify and confirm important key constructs in brand awareness. Furthermore, a conceptual model is proposed on the relationship between university brand management elements relevant in University context and their influence on brand image, brand reputation, and identification. Research limitations/implications – The focus on two UK universities limits the generalisability of the findings; future research should be conducted in other country settings in order to test the relationships identified in the present study. Also, future research could build on the study’s findings by investigating the attitudinal and behavioural consequences of brand identification in the higher education context. Practical implications – Professionals responsible for universities’ promotional and branding activities need to evaluate the relative contributions of the IMC antecedents of brand awareness. Brand elements such as design, colour and name, for example, should be reviewed to determine whether modifications are required in different international markets. The increasing prevalence of social media, one of the key antecedents of brand awareness, offers opportunities for universities to engage in brand co-creation by interacting with past, present and future students on relevant platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Universities should also devote more attention to their brand personality, as this can influence perceptions held by different stakeholder groups. Finally, the country of origin cue is of particular relevance to institutions of higher education given the increasing numbers of students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels who are choosing to study abroad. The attraction of the United Kingdom as a country to study in, or the appeal of individual cities such as London, should be fully integrated into universities’ IMC strategies. Originality/value – The study makes two main contributions. First, we make a theoretical contribution by identifying the core IMC antecedents and consequences of brand awareness for universities and from this extrapolate key directions for future research. Second, we indicate a number of managerial implications designed to assist in the formulation of improved professional practice.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Marketing
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0309-0566
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Prof PJ Kitchen
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2016 08:36
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:52

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