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After the rebranding exercise in 2008, the cow’s head was replaced with a symbol of a shield or horns which still coveys the meaning of the “One Man, One Beast” concept. However, the sorghum leaves and the slogan of “Thuto ke Thebe” which means “education is a shield” still remained. Additionally, corporate colors were changed from burgundy and cream to lime green and blue representing the rain and agriculture that are essential to life (Morewagae, 2008; Nkoga, 2008). A survey research design using a structured questionnaire was used to investigate the perceptions of consumers about the University of Botswana brand following a rebranding exercise. The choice of this design is consistent with previous studies on higher education branding) while other studies were either conceptually based or based on a qualitative methodology. Harvey identified four groups who benefit from higher education: students, parents, institution authorities, and the general public. The current study focused on students as the direct and primary customers for higher education services. According to Pesch, et al. the key to successful implementation and adoption of a customer orientation in the branding of an education institution requires the assessment of students’ perceptions of the institution’s brand equity. In particular, a convenience sample of 336 University of Botswana students majoring in business was achieved. A convenience sample of business students was used as they are formally taught about marketing and branding and thus are more likely to be more expressive as far as branding is concerned.
Data for the main survey was collected by way of a structured questionnaire that was pre-tested to check for clarity and accuracy. The questionnaires were hand distributed to students around the faculty building and were completed in the presence of the interviewer. The questionnaire consisted of nineteen items relating to the three dimensions of brand equity: brand awareness, brand association and brand loyalty. The eight items used to measure brand awareness were adopted from Aaker and Yoo & Donthu. Six items which were adapted from Aaker and Yoo & Donthu were used as measures for brand association. Loyalty was measured using five items adopted from Yoo & Donthu. Respondents were required to indicate a degree of agreement with each item using the 5 point Likert scale for each item for each of the logos. The other question was a single question about overall attitude towards the University of Botswana following the rebranding exercise. Questions on age and gender were also included.