Projecting corporate brand image and behavioral response in business schools: Cognitive or affective brand attributes?
This paper considers corporate brand image, focusing on cognitive and affective brand attributes in the context of business schools. While previous research on university or institutional branding has studied these elements separately via cognitive (e.g., service or educational quality attributes) or affective criteria (personality traits of the corporate brand), this study investigates them jointly through behavioral responses (leading to positive recommendations about the corporate brand). This is important because brand equity such as positive word-of-mouth (or mouse) is derived from both attitudinal components, rather than being based on only one component. Drawing on an empirical survey of postgraduate (MBA) students from four business schools, the findings reveal that both cognitive and affective attitudinal components appear equally important in shaping corporate brand image. Further, when the mediating effect is investigated, interestingly, students' positive recommendations to schools depended largely on the affective (prestigious, adventurous, empathy and competence) rather than upon the cognitive brand attributes. This paper contributes theoretically to the corporate brand and consumer behavior literature by investigating both attitudinal components at a corporate brand level and investigates their effects on behavioral/conative response. The practical contribution of the paper and its managerial implications lie in the context of defining strategy in relation to positioning business schools in an increasingly competitive higher education market.
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Volume (Year): 67 (2014)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
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