Determinants of Brand Equity in Higher Education: the case of private Universities in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The primary objective of this study was to investigate determinants of CBBE in Higher Education, particularly in private Universities in Addis Ababa. The research adopted an exploratory research approach and questionnaires were administered to gather research data. Samples of 385 students from the four private universities in Addis Ababa were contacted. Out of the 385 questionnaires distributed, 360 were deemed valid. The scale constructed to measure consumer-based brand equity included brand awareness and brand image captured through Product Attributes, Service Attributes and Symbolic Attributes. The findings established that image related attributes particularly, Service Attributes and Symbolic Attributes proved to be very essential and are predictors of brand equity of Higher Education Institutions’ (HEI) particularly in the case of private Universities in Addis Ababa. On the contrary, Brand awareness attributes had no significant impact on ratings of brand equity. This study contributes to the scant literature testing the applicability of customer-based brand equity in the educational sector specifically in Ethiopia. Since private university education is of significant importance as it accounts for approximately over 25 percent of the country’s undergraduate enrollments, the study provides an insight into the Ethiopian university students’ perceptions of the different attributes of overall brand equity. The study was limited to only private universities, thus, future research should attempt to examine brand equity across many different areas of the Higher education sector in Ethiopia. Also, instead of overreliance of developed scales, there would be the need to create industry-specific scales in accordance with the specific research setting as scales developed for one empirical setting may not apply to another. Studies like this can help practitioners analyze the value of their brands as well as their competitors’, develop their marketing strategies and marketing communications plans, and in building and managing their brands more effectively. Similar studies can also be used for longitudinal brand health checks and to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising and branding campaigns and events.



Brand Equity, Higher Education, Services Marketing