Constructing a brand identity scale for higher education institutions
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Malaysia is a newly industrialized market economy and reliant upon foreign direct investment to increase its economic outlook. Being located in a strategic position between Asia, Australasia and Oceania has made it an attractive proposition for foreign higher education providers wanting to expand their international presence. Despite this, there are many market and regulatory challenges facing foreign providers operating as private higher education institutions (HEIs) within Malaysia. To gain a competitive edge they must clearly understand how the many cultures, values, norms, behaviors, and mindsets within Malaysia can be used to drive strategy. Unfortunately, very little is known about Malaysian perceptions of private HEIs compared to public HEIs. By drawing upon utility theory, the aim of this research is to construct a scale for measuring brand identity of HEIs in Malaysia. Data from a sample of 371 students from private and public HEIs in Malaysia were collected and analyzed using structural equation modeling to form a two-factor measurement model consisting of visual and verbal identity cues. Tests of differences were performed, which showed dimensions such as distribution channel, public relations, promotion, core service, price, and system having significant differences between private and public HEIs.
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