Brand Personality is an important concept in brand management. Also universities apply certain brand management techniques in order to improve their internal and external branding. Academics have studied the role of brand personality for institutions of higher education, and many universities communicate certain brand personality attributes. However, the research gap that we addressed was a lack of understanding what brand personality for universities is.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Business Research, me and my coauthors developed a new brand personality scale for university. The scale consist of six dimensions and has been validated in Germany and in the US. Core findings of this research are:
University Brand Personality Scale
University brand personality is a six-dimensional construct. The items to measure the scale are in parentheses.
- prestige (accepted, leading, reputable, successful, considerable)
- sincerity (humane, helpful, friendly, trustworthy, fair)
- appeal (attractive, productive, special)
- lively (athletic, dynamic, lively, creative)
- conscientiousness (organized, competent, structured, effective)
- cosmopolitan (networked, international, cosmopolitan,)
Impact of UBPS on Loyalty, Brand Love and Alumni Support
Results of study 7 show that our UBPS (University brand persoanlity scale) relates with brand love, WOM, and students’ intention to support their university after graduation. Surprisingly, not all UBPS dimensions correlate equally strong and directed with brand love. In contrast to generally positive relationships of UBPS, the ‘prestige dimension’ displays negative relationships.
Measuring University Brand Personality
If you want to measure the university brand personality scale, we suggest using our wording:
‘We are interested in the personality or human characteristics that come to mind when thinking about [university]. Imagine [university] as a person. To what extent do the following words apply to [university] as a person?’
We used 7-point Likert scales (1=does not apply … 7=totally applies). Please also look at this posting to see how we measured university brand love.
Rauschnabel, P. A.; Krey N.; Babin, B.J.;Ivens, B.S. (2016): Brand Management in Marketing for Higher Education: The University Brand Personality Scale. Journal of Business Research, forthcoming.