Rebranding an Institution of Higher Education in Botswana
The issue of rebranding institutions of higher education has attracted little attention in scholarly publications. However, intense competition in the higher education market has forced institutions to modify elements of their brands. The current study seeks to shed light on the challenges of undertaking a rebranding exercise in an institution of higher education in Botswana, a context which is under researched. The purpose of the current study is to establish the perceptions of students of the University of Botswana regarding its brand equity following the rebranding exercise. A structured questionnaire was administered to a sample of 336 University students majoring in business. Overall, the results showed that the brand equity of the new logo was lower than that of the old logo. The results of the paired t-tests revealed that students tend to recall and recognize the old logo more than the new logo. Students are also attracted, affectionate and attached to the old logo more than the new one. Since rebranding can erode some of the important aspects of an existing brand, it has to be implemented cautiously. Importantly, effective communication is critical to inspire students to embrace the new logo and their perceptions need to be tracked periodically in order to establish whether the desired brand image has been generated.
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