Brand Positioning for innovation in online education: study of non-metropolitan Australian Universities

Muhammad Haq, Ricardo Santa, Siva Vemuri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: This paper examines two issues related to brand positioning of innovation in online education - identification of elements and strategic brand positioning of universities engaged in online education. 

    Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on the framework developed by Keller and Lehmann (2006) to systematically investigate brand antecedents and consequences for strategic innovation. The elements underpinning branding of online education were explored by studying two non-metropolitan Australian Universities. Convenient sampling was employed to select managers, officials and academics and in-depth interviews were conducted with them. 

    Findings: Research findings indicated three emerging themes: need for flexible delivery, market opportunity and technological support. The strategic outcomes indicated that point-of-parity regarding the brand positioning of online education was constructed on technological similarities, socio-economic background of students, marketing strategies, staff quality and outsourcing of the study material. The point-of-difference was based on differentiation regarding the image of university, brand equity related to the academic staff, student services, outsourcing of the study material and managing internal customers. 

    Practical implications: The brand positioning for online education should be strategically based on point-of-parity in the industry rather than on point-of-difference. The conclusion supports the argument from Garrett (2004) that online education should be considered as an extension of the product delivery rather than a challenge to traditional education system. 

    Originality/value: This research has filled a gap in literature on brand positioning online education by developing themes based on interviews with internal customers of non-metropolitan universities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-
    JournalJournal of Information Systems Technology and Planning
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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