Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical insights about service branding from higher education administrators (HEAs) perspectives and to identify the main factors involved in their strategic thinking in this sector. Design/methodology/approach: Adopting a qualitative approach, 22 in-depth interviews were performed in Brazilian HEAs to analyze service branding as a strategic institutional process in this context. Findings: Findings reveal that service branding depends on several factors, e.g., in this case, deep integration between branding and services, leadership involvement, strong value propositions, sharing of strategic guidelines, branding experiences and, finally, credibility and reputation. Excellence of service is considered essential in higher education (HE) and, therefore, service branding faces the challenge of promoting the provision of quality services. Originality/value: Although there have been many studies relating to HE and branding, few authors have studied service branding in educational sector and which issues must be observed in a competitive marketplace.
- Higher education