Brand Management Attributes, Corporate Image, Customer Characteristics And Customer Satisfaction Among Undergraduate University Students In Kenya
Maore, Kirimi Stephen
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The general objective of this study was to determine the influence of brand management attributes, corporate image, and customer characteristics on customer satisfaction among university students in Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to establish the influence of brand management attributes on customer satisfaction; establish the mediating effect of corporate image on the relationship between brand management attributes and customer satisfaction; establish the moderating effect of customer characteristics on the relationship between brand management attributes and customer satisfaction and lastly, determine the joint influence of brand management attributes, corporate image and customer characteristics on customer satisfaction of university students in Kenya. The study was anchored on three theories: Customer based brand equity model, expectation confirmation theory and consumer utility theory. The study adopted descriptive research design, the target population comprised students from all 70 universities registered and accredited to operate in Kenya, with a population of 443,783 students enrolled for various undergraduate degree programmes from which a random sample of 384 students was drawn. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis, factor analysis, correlation analysis and regression analysis. The study revealed that brand management attributes had statistically significant influence on customer satisfaction among university students in Kenya (R2=0.238; p-value = 0.000). The study also established that corporate image had a statistically significant mediating effect on the relationship between brand management attributes and customer satisfaction (R2=0.388; p-value = 0.000). Further, the study revealed that customer characteristics had a statistically significant moderating influence on the relationship between brand management attributes (R2=0.085; p-value= 0.000). Finally, the study revealed there was a statistically significant joint effect of brand management attributes, customer characteristics and corporate image on customer satisfaction in university students in Kenya (R2=0.308; p-value= 0.000). Brand management practices were found to influence customer satisfaction more in the private individual owned and private institutional owned than in public universities, with R square of 0.149, 0.312 and 0.423 respectively. Similarly, corporate image was found to have a stronger moderation effect on the relationship between brand management practices and customer satisfaction in private institutional owned universities as compared to the private individual owned and public universities, with R2 of 0.671, 0.654 and 0.213 respectively. The study recommends that policy can be developed that encourages inculcating brand management practices within universities in Kenya. Policy can be developed to encourage measurement and reporting of performance along brand management attributes as used in this study. To sustain customer satisfaction through branding, the universities should identify ways in which a strong brand can create value to customers. This can be enhanced through quality service delivery, superior technology, positive attitude among the employees (both teaching and non-teaching) as well as reputable professors to enhance university brand positioning in the market.
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