The influence of brand image on the selection and preference of universities of technology
The research focuses on the factors that influence student brand preferences for Universities of Technology in KwaZulu-Natal. Brand preference is a marketing indicator that reflects a brand's market position. This indicator reveals whether consumers prefer one brand in the same category over another. Developing brand preference as a long-term strategy assists in the development of brand equity, which builds a brand's popularity and market domination in comparison to competitors. The primary goals of this research were to: investigate the most influential factors, influencing student brand choices; and identify traits that students in KwaZulu-Natal consider to be critical in the choosing of a University of Technology (UoT). The study also aimed to recommend strategies to improve service delivery in Universities of Technology. An exploratory study was carried out using a quantitative research approach, wherein questionnaires were administered to 500 DUT and MUT first-year students at the KwaZulu-Natal Universities of Technology and analysed using statistical packages for social sciences (SPSS). The study found that factors, such as investments in brand awareness and brand image, and service delivery influenced participants' choice and willingness to recommend their institutions to potential students. As a result, the report proposes that UoTs prioritize branding efforts as a means of guaranteeing institutional profitability, viability, and customer relationship management.
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