The Effect of Cultural Factors on Brand Equity in Higher Education
The proposed conceptual framework examines the relation between the dimensions of brand equity, mainly awareness and perceived quality, and choice in higher education. The factors influence the awareness dimension of brand equity are COO and internationalization while the factors influence the perceived quality are quality assurance and accreditation. The moderator represents the cultural factors (High individualism and high uncertainty avoidance; High individualism and low uncertainty avoidance; Low individualism and high uncertainty avoidance; and Low individualism and low uncertainty avoidance).The proposed conceptual model was empirically tested in two different contexts, namely the USA and Egypt. The empirical study started with a qualitative exploratory research in each country with the aim of identifying the factors that might create BE in the two HE markets. In addition, the researchers conducted quantitative research to empirically test the adopted conceptual model in USA as an example of a developed market and Egypt as an example of an emerging HE market. Structural Equation Modeling using LISREL 8.72 was adopted to analyze the quantitative data collected in the two countries and to test the proposed hypotheses.To Investigate the cultural factors effects on the perception of brand equity in higher education, the researcher used the results of qualitative research in 2 countries to reflect different cultural factors. For high individualism and high uncertainty avoidance the researcher selected USA and for high uncertainty avoidance the researcher selected Egypt. A comparative study was conducted in order to give different recommendations to higher education decision makers.
Keywords: Brand Equity, Marketing Higher Education, Cultural Factors, Egypt