The Mediating Influence of Brand Association in Determining Purchase Intentions in Malaysia’s Private Higher Education Institutions

By Gomathi Shamuganathan and Canon Tong.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The higher education sector is envisioned to continue contributing significantly to the growth of developed economies. The radical change in offerings from this sector over the last decade, the changing perceptions of quality education, and the marketability of the education business has led to the branding of a university’s service. However, as branding is customarily linked to physical products, there has been a lack of research dedicated to exploring service branding from the consumers’ perspective.

The study on which this paper is based on, examined key determinants of a meaningful service brand and the intention of consumers to use a particular brand of service. The study surveyed 400 PHEI undergraduates and revealed that brand image and value for money are the primary factors that influence consumers in their choice of higher education service. This paper theoretically and empirically provides academe with a foundation for future research as well as valuable ideas for developing consumer oriented marketing strategies for educational services.

Keywords: Branding, Meaningful Service Brand, Brand Associations, Purchase Intention, Brand Image, Value for Money

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.157-174. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.212MB).

Dr. Gomathi Shamuganathan

Lecturer, Marketing Department, Taylor's Business School, Taylor’s University College, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

I have been attached at Taylor’s Business School of Taylor’s University College since 1999, lecturing and tutoring for the twinning programme with University Technology of Sydney (UTS) and University of South Australia. In the past 9 years, I have been lecturing in Business Marketing, Decision Models for Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Research and International Business. Prior to this, I was attached at Sunway University College, teaching Quantitative Methods. My areas of interest are Green Marketing, Branding and Brand Management and Service Marketing. I have just completed my Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) with University of Newcastle, Australia. The title of my dissertation is “The determinants of purchase intention in private higher education institution (PHEI) in Malaysia: The mediating influence of brand association and brand attitude.” I have written research papers for internal publication at Taylor’s University College. I have an MBA from Asia Pacific Institute, New Zealand, Bachelor of Science in Statistics (Hons) from University Kebangsaan Malaysia and Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

Dr. Canon Tong

Hong Kong


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