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The results have shown that the brand equity of both the old and new logo in the University of Botswana is adequately represented by two dimensions: brand image and brand awareness. These findings correspond to selected previous studies that have recommended varied dimensions of brand equity in commercial enterprises. This is also consistent with an observation made by Gupta and Singh who proposed that branding in commercial businesses could differ from branding in higher education. The results also showed that students believe that the old logo has more brand awareness than the new logo. Students were also more loyal, attached and affectionate to the old logo than the new logo. Thus, the branding equity of the University of Botswana brand has declined following a rebranding exercise. The findings correspond to assertions made by Muzellec and Lambkin who suggested that even though rebranding may positively affect a firm’s reputation, it may also diminish some of the desired attributes associated with the brand. Furthermore, fewer students were knowledgeable about the new brand and those who were knowledgeable about the logo were likely to have a positive attitude about the University of Botswana. This corresponds with previous studies that have cautioned that it might take a long time for a new brand to yield the desired brand image.
The results of the current study add to the under researched area of rebranding in institutions of higher education by bringing a perspective from Botswana. Based on these findings it is recommended that the institution should continue to communicate with students in order to increase the ownership and acceptance of the new logo. Messages aimed at students should explain what the new logo stands for and the rationale for the change of logo. This could be done through conducting awareness campaigns around campus for each faculty and also including the background of the institution as well as explanation of the new brand as part of the orientation program for first year students. Similarly, the new logo scored the lowest means in terms of brand image. Thus the management of the University of Botswana should look into possible ways of making this logo more appealing and attractive and linking it to students’ personalities thereby making them more attached to it. This can be achieved by designing a positioning message that clearly communicates the unique features of the University of Botswana compared to other educational institutions. As the marketing budget of universities is relatively constrained messages portraying the brand personality of the institution can be posted on the institution’s website, print media and social media.
However, as in most research studies, this study is not without limitations. In conducting this research, the sampling method was non-probabilistic; therefore the respondents used in this study might not necessarily be representative of the population. In addition, in the future a more comprehensive study could also include other important key target markets such as the employees, the alumni, employers and the general public.