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Projecting corporate brand image and behavioral response in business schools: Cognitive or affective brand attributes?

Listed author(s):
  • Syed Alwi, Sharifah Faridah
  • Kitchen, Philip J.
Registered author(s):

    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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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Research.

    Volume (Year): 67 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 2324-2336

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:67:y:2014:i:11:p:2324-2336
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2014.06.020
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    1. Roger Bennett & Rehnuma Ali-Choudhury, 2009. "Prospective Students' Perceptions of University Brands: An Empirical Study," Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 85-107, May.
    2. Voss, Roediger & Gruber, Thorsten & Szmigin, Isabelle, 2007. "Service quality in higher education: The role of student expectations," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(9), pages 949-959, September.
    3. Agarwal, James & Malhotra, Naresh K., 2005. "An integrated model of attitude and affect: Theoretical foundation and an empirical investigation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 483-493, April.
    4. Irene C. L. Ng & Jeannie Forbes, 2009. "Education as Service: The Understanding of University Experience Through the Service Logic," Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 38-64, May.
    5. Hawawini, Gabriel, 2005. "The future of business schools," MPRA Paper 44888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Keller, Kevin Lane, 2003. " Brand Synthesis: The Multidimensionality of Brand Knowledge," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 595-600, March.
    7. Johnson, Devon & Grayson, Kent, 2005. "Cognitive and affective trust in service relationships," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 500-507, April.
    8. Malhotra, Naresh K., 2005. "Attitude and affect: new frontiers of research in the 21st century," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 477-482, April.
    9. MacInnis, Deborah J & Price, Linda L, 1987. " The Role of Imagery in Information Processing: Review and Extensions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 473-491, March.
    10. Grimm, Pamela E., 2005. "Ab components' impact on brand preference," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 508-517, April.
    11. Hemsley-Brown, Jane & Goonawardana, Shivonne, 2007. "Brand harmonization in the international higher education market," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(9), pages 942-948, September.
    12. Aaker, Jennifer & Benet-Martinez, Veronica & Garolera, Jordi, 2001. "Consumption Symbols as Carriers of Culture: A Study of Japanese and Spanish Brand Personality Constructs," Research Papers 1668r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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