Colleges and universities rely on alumni who contribute through financial donations, positive word-of-mouth, brand advocacy, volunteering to participate on boards, creating professional networks for current students, and more. Current college students, the demographic of Generation Z, exhibit low levels of loyalty towards brands. The problem addressed by this study is that higher education institutions are challenged to develop current students into ultimate loyal alumni in the future due to a lack of fully understanding the new generational cohort, Generation Z. If colleges and universities do not understand how to develop Generation Z students into loyal alumni, the future financial sustainability could be in jeopardy. The current study addressed this problem by identifying antecedents that show significant influence during each of four phases of loyalty as well as the development a defined Brand Loyalty Journey for the Generation Z college student. An online survey was completed by 137 current college students between the ages of 18 to 21 years who are United States citizens. The four-phase loyalty theory was the foundation of the current study with each phase (e.g., cognitive, affective, conative, and action) as criterion variables. Four antecedents of loyalty (e.g., consumer involvement, perceived brand value, brand trust, and customer satisfaction) were the predictor variables. A multiple linear regression analysis identified customer satisfaction as the strongest antecedent for the cognitive, conative, and action phases whilst the affective phase was most influenced by trust. Additionally, a stepwise multiple regression analysis showed perceived brand value and customer involvement were significant secondary and tertiary antecedents in certain loyalty phases. The results contribute to a better conceptual understanding of the Generation Z cohort as well as equip higher education marketers with insights on current Generation Z students to focus marketing strategies and tactics on initiating to developing future loyal alumni.
|Commitee:||Markham, Paul, Bakhari, Maria|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Marketing, Higher education|
|Keywords:||College and University, Involvement, Loyalty, Perceived Brand Value, Satisfaction, Trust|
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