especially in the Indian context communicating a business school brand to

Especially in the indian context communicating a

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especially in the Indian context, communicating a business school brand to stakeholders has become extremely important. It is imperative for Indian business schools to differentiate and build strong brands in the competitive business education space in India. Brand building helps in creating, evolving and enhancing a brand’s positioning and its perceptions among stakeholders. These perceptions are critical in influencing behavior and hence the performance of an institution. The paper aims to assess the brand equity of select Indian business schools (from the prospective student’s perspective) using a familiarity– perception–preference–choice framework. The branding framework proposed in this study highlights how consumer-based brand equity measures can be used to improve business school positioning and hence the brand image. This paper gives an opportunity to extend the current knowledge in measuring the brand equity of business schools, especially in India. This study would help institutions apply brand equity measurements to their business schools and implement focused branding efforts to gain a higher student share and build quality education brands. Keywords: brand equity; Indian business schools; consumer-based brand equity; branding; management education Introduction Brands are pivotal sources for generating and sustaining a competitive advan- tage, which not only helps in minimizing quality gaps but also is a source of strong and favorable differentiators (Aaker, 1996 ). The world of Indian business education is in an enriching churn and the last 20 years have seen a phenomenal growth of business education in India. The process of liberalization, # 2013 Taylor & Francis Corresponding author. Email: [email protected] Journal of Marketing for Higher Education , 2013 Vol. 23, No. 2, 175–203, Downloaded by [Sapna Popli] at 08:08 20 December 2013
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privatization, and globalization has not only replaced the traditional approach with a more professional approach, but also introduced several contemporary courses to meet the industry demand (Kumar & Dash, 2011 ). Building a business school brand has become an important agenda for business school administration and leadership. Challenges from newer institutions, shrinking global boundaries, fragmentation of consumers, more stringent competition and increased expectations on brand performance have increased the impor- tance of assessing brand equity for business schools. However, there has been very limited academic research to understand the role played by business school brand equity, especially in the Indian context. Need for branding business schools : Education branding worldwide is still largely at the stage of differentiation, which is based on self-defined sets of attri- butes and benefits. The Ivy League/top ranking schools have a prestigious history or legacy that differentiates them based on reputation built over years, but other schools are still striving to establish their own differentiated value proposition. Currently schools are focusing more on functional attributes –
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