Investigating the effect of service brand dimensions on students choice of private universities in Ghana

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Service brands, even though brands in general have become an increasingly important part in companies’ marketing strategy due to the fact that they are seen as valuable assets and a primary source of differentiation, has suffered low research into the area coupled with the fact that various theoretical models helping to understand the relationship between the consumers and their brands are basically done in terms of physical products. Out of the little research that has been done in the service industry so far, no research has been done in the education sector. It is in this light that this study sought to understand the relationship between service brand dimensions and students choice of private universities. Fifteen private universities were selected through simple random sampling and questionnaires distributed to 400 students using convenience sampling to harness information to help achieve the objective of the study. Service brand dimensions adopted from literature were used in designing the questions to solicit their effect on the students’ choices. The results revealed that all the hypothesized service brand dimensions were of value to the students and all but controlled communications and Core service significantly contributed to users’ pre-purchase decisions of a service brand which in turn, impacted their various choices of private universities. Recommendations were made to Management of the various private universities to critically look at the findings of this research to guide them in mapping well strategized policies and marketing campaigns to suit the needs of the different target groups to ensure increase in the number of student enrolments.
A thesis submitted to School of Business in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Business Administration (Marketing),