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MARK319 Brand Management

Chelsea Drury
300343296

Assignment 2

4435 words
Due Date: Wednesday 3rd October 2018, 12pm

Tutor: Monica Micek


Tutorial: Friday 10:30am, Tut/08
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Introduction

“Victoria Business School hosts all the University's business and Government related
courses, and we enjoy the challenge of teaching a wide range of programmes and meeting the
differing academic needs of a diverse set of students” (Victoria Business School 1, n.d.)

Victoria Business School (VBS) is a part of Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), which
excels in the areas of teaching and practice, ranked as New Zealand’s number one university
for research excellence. Through effective collaborations with Government and leading
international organisations and researchers, VBS is able to produce outstanding national and
international research. VBS excels in the areas of teaching and practice, gaining recognition
and accreditations from industry and professional bodies. In particular, VBS is among the 1
percent of business schools worldwide to hold the ‘Triple Crown’ of international
accreditations, obtaining accreditations from Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of
Business (AACSB), European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and Association of
MBAs (AMBA) (Victoria Business School 2, n.d.). Additionally, VBS is among the top
business schools in the Asia-Pacific region, contributing to the growth of the Asia-Pacific
economy by supporting and encouraging international trade and foreign direct investment
into New Zealand (Victoria Business School 3, n.d.).

VBSs product is undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The target market for
undergraduate study is generally domestic students aged 17-20 and postgraduate study
postgraduates or working professionals wanting to enhance their learning. Additionally, VBS
targets international students for undergraduate and postgraduate studies, with a focus on
those in the Asia Pacific.

VBSs main competitors include business courses at other New Zealand based Universities
such as the University of Otago, University of Canterbury, University of Auckland,
University of Waikato, Auckland University of Technology and Lincoln University. Other
international competitors include the Australian National University and aspirational
Universities include Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Business courses at the
University of Otago and University of Auckland are VBSs largest competitors. VBSs POD
among New Zealand based competitors include that it holds the Triple Crown of international

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accreditations as previously discussed, as well as a Tourism Education Quality (TedQual)


certification. Points of parity between VBS, the University of Otago and the University of
Auckland include extremely good business school educational and research rankings such as
QS World University Rankings. “Auckland, Otago and Victoria universities are leaders in the
university sector in terms of the number of internationally ranked subjects they offer”.
Additionally, all have long standing histories and implement strong branding strategies
(Victoria University of Wellington 1, n.d.).

VUW has embarked upon an initiative to change the name of the University to University of
Wellington (UoW) (or for convenience, Wellington University). The University Council has
voted in favour of this rebranding and if approved by the Ministry of Education, the name
change is likely to be implemented in February 2019. Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith says
that the name change is one key step towards becoming a world-leading university. “The
name University of Wellington contributes to that vision by helping to differentiate us
internationally from all the other institutions with Victoria in their name. It also firmly aligns
our destiny with that of Wellington and captures our role as New Zealand’s globally ranked
capital city university” (Victoria University of Wellington 2, n.d.). Such a move opens the
opportunity for VBS to rebrand itself, potentially changing its name also.

What is a brand? A brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of


them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to
differentiate them from those of competition”. Brands aid customers in obtaining perception,
making product decisions, reducing purchase risk and creating relationships. For
manufacturers, brands are a means of identification, provide protection, signal quality to
customers and are a source of competitive advantage (Keller, 2011; Blackett, 2004).

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The product and the brand

VBSs product is undergraduate and postgraduate study in the commerce field. This includes
bachelor, certificate, diploma, honours, masters and PhD qualifications.

Brand image is the way that customers perceive a brand, this can be based on reputation,
impression, emotion and beliefs. Based on VBS achievements and reputation it can be
assumed that VBS has a positive brand image among consumers, as the top business school
in New Zealand for educational and research purposes. However, VBS strives for
international recognition and a strong brand image for international excellence in education
and research (Keller, 2011; Dobni & Zinkhan, 1990).

Brand judgements are dependent on the individual customers’ personal opinions and
evaluations of VBS. VBSs programs are generally viewed as of high quality, credibility and
superiority among domestic customers. However, VBS desires to strengthen these domestic
brand judgments and build these brand judgements on an international scale. Additionally,
VBS has a desire to evoke brand feelings of fun, excitement, safety and social approval,
marketing VUW campus culture as an exciting adventure whilst still providing a sense of
educational security and implying that VBS courses lead to favourable educational outcomes
(Keller, 2011; Pan & Lehmann, 1993).

Creative Strategy

Brand elements such as brand names, logos and symbols are trademarkable devices used to
build and identify a brand, as well as differentiate it from competitors. Through brand
elements, brand can effectively increase brand exposure and awareness, in turn strengthening
positive brand associations and judgements. In general, there are six criteria which affect the
effectiveness of brand elements, these include, memorability, meaningfulness, likeability,
transferability, adaptability and protectability. Through a memorable brand element, brands
ensure that brand elements are attention grabbing, ultimately aiding recognition and recall.
Through a meaningful brand element, brands ensure brand elements provide necessary
information on specific brand and product attributes, ultimately affirming brand positioning.

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Through a likeable brand element, brands ensure that brand elements are wither visually or
verbally pleasing. Through a transferable brand element, brands ensure that brand elements
are transferable across extensions and foreign markets. Through an adaptable brand element,
brands ensure that brand elements are able to be evolved to remain in line with current
customer values and behaivour. Through a protectable brand element, brands ensure brand
elements are protected both legally and competitive, this is achieved through the likes of
formal registrations and trademarks (Keller, 2011; Rao & Monroe, 1989).

Brand names are fundamentally an important choice as they are at the forefront of a brand
(Keller, 2011). It is proposed that VBS change their name to the University of Wellington
Business School (WBS) (Wellington Business School for convenience). This name will
clearly demonstrate and communicate with consumers WBS’s affiliations and brand
associations with UoW. Ultimately, leveraging off UoWs strong brand image and marketing
strategies, in turn, gaining increased exposure. This may lead to increased memorability,
facilitating further recall and recognition. As the WBS’s brand name is linked to a physical
location, it will have an essence of familiarity with some consumers, therefore it is
memorable and can more effectively tap into consumers underlying knowledge. Additionally,
the WBS brand name is a meaningful and descriptive brand name, through incorporating the
use of the word ‘University’ in the proposed brand name, WBS will be able to clearly
communicate product offerings and central themes to the brand. Lastly, the WBS brand name
is likeable, it is easy to pronounce and spell, which will likely lead to an increase in word of
mouth exposure. This brand name is adaptable, as shown the various VUW name changes in
the past, however name changes can be very costly so further brand name adaptations are not
recommended unless they are believed to ultimately positively impact brand image and
equity. Lastly this brand name will be protectable through the use of trademarks and other
formal registrations.

Visual elements also play a critical role in building brand equity and especially brand
awareness. Logos are predominantly name based and can be written in a distinctive format,
whereas Symbols are more image-based (Keller, 2011). Appendix A shows the proposed
UoW logo and symbol. The triangle pattern is a traditional Maori ‘niho taniwha’ pattern,
symbolising power and unity. This is a fitting pattern for a university, representing the
collectiveness of our multiple schools, faculties and programmes. Beneath the niho taniwha is

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a symbol of water, representing UoW’s location in the harbour city of Wellington. The
inclusion of the establishment date is meaningful, highlighting UoW’s heritage and legacy.
Beside this symbol is UoWs logo, its name as well as Maori text, “Te Herenga Waka”. The
use of the location name ‘Wellington’ in this logo helps aid in underlying recall and
memorability (Victoria University of Wellington 3, n.d). Currently VBS is using the VUW
symbol and logo, it is recommended that WBS adopts this same strategy with the proposed
UoW logo. WBS is not a stand-alone entity, and through highlighting associations with
UoW, WBS has more creditability and opportunities for brand recognition. WBS should use
the UoW symbol, however use their own logo, as shown in Appendix B. This logo and
symbol is adaptable; however any adaptations should be minor as to maintain brand
recognition and any major changes should be fully investigated due to high implementation
costs. Lastly this logo and symbol will be protectable through the use of trademarks and other
formal registrations.

Branding Strategy

Product Strategy
“The product itself is the primary influence on what consumers experience with a brand, what
they hear about a brand from others, and what the firm can tell customers about the brand. At
the heart of a great brand is invariably a great product” (Keller, 2011).

As previously stated, VBSs product is undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Undergraduate
More specifically, undergraduate subject areas that VBS currently offers are Accounting,
Taxation and Commercial Law; Economics and Finance; Human Resource Management and
Industrial Relations; Information Systems; Management; Marketing and International
Business; Tourism Management; and Public Policy and Government. VBS offers various
undergraduate degrees and qualifications, including a Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate
Certificate of Commerce, Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice Practice and Graduate
Diploma in Commerce (Victoria Business School 4, n.d.).

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Bachelor of Commerce
A Bachelor of Commerce is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge
needed for a successful career in commerce. Students gain a strong foundation through
studying seven compulsory courses (generally in their first year) including Accounting;
Microeconomic Principles; Government, Law and Business; Foundations of Information
Systems; Principles of Marketing; Introduction to Management; and Statistics for Business.
A Bachelor of Commerce generally takes three years of full time study to complete and
consists of 360 points, 210 points of which have to be listed under a Bachelor of Commerce.
Prerequisites for entering a Bachelor of Commerce differ based on which country a student is
applying from, though outlined university entrance scores must be met and any other degree
specific requirements must be fulfilled (Victoria University of Wellington 4, n.d.).

Graduate Certificate in Commerce


A Graduate Certificate in Commerce is often conducted by students who want to study
something new, enhance their career prospects or get up to date with new developments in
their industry. A Graduate Certificate in Commerce generally takes six months of full time
study to complete and consists of 60 points. Prerequisites for entering include achieving a
Bachelors degree or equivalent (Victoria University of Wellington 5, n.d.).

Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice Practice


A Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice Practise is often conducted by students who
want to further their knowledge and skills to improve their professional practise. “The
Certificate is the only qualification in New Zealand that covers restorative justice practice
across the criminal justice, education, health and social welfare and human resources
sectors”. This Certificate takes four trimesters of part time study to complete and consist of
60 points. Prerequisites include obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, recognised professional
qualification or equivalent work experience (Victoria University of Wellington 6, n.d.).

Graduate Diploma in Commerce


A Graduate Diploma in Commerce is for students who want to branch out into a new
discipline, improve their career prospects or get up to date with new industry developments.
This Diploma takes two trimesters of full time study to complete and consist of 120 points.
Prerequisites include obtaining a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (Victoria University of

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Wellington 7, n.d.).

Postgraduate
Postgraduate courses stem from the undergraduate courses. The VBS postgraduate subjects
offered are Accounting; Business Administration; Professional Business Analysis;
Economics; e-Government; Finance; Global Management; Global Marketing; Government;
Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations; Information Management;
Information Studies; Information Systems; Innovation and Commercialisation; International
Business; International Trade; Management; Marketing; Philosophy, Politics and Economics;
Public Administration; Public Management; Public Policy; Restorative Justice Practice; and
Tourism Management. There are many VBS postgraduate degrees and qualifications offered
relating to the above subjects, these include certificates and diplomas, honours, masters and
PhD (Victoria University of Wellington 4, n.d.).

Post graduate certificates and diplomas


Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are generally a pathway for students to other
postgraduate study options, though can also be studied by students who only wish to enhance
their knowledge and not necessarily direct their career towards research. Postgraduate
certificates typically take six months of full time study to complete and postgraduate
diplomas are generally take one year of full time study to complete (Victoria University of
Wellington 8, n.d.).

Honours Degree
An honours degree provides students with an opportunity to further develop areas of interest,
it requires in-depth and self-directed study with a focus on individual research. An honours
degree generally takes one year of full time study to complete, with a total of 120 points
(Victoria University of Wellington 9, n.d.).

Master’s Degree
A Master’s Degree is highly research-based, and is led by some of VUWs top teachers. A
Master’s Degree generally takes one to two years of full time study to complete (Victoria
University of Wellington 10, n.d.).

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PhD Degree
A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree generally follows a Master’s or Honours degree and
represents the high point of academic achievement. “It involves original and sustained
research under academic supervision and demands considerable intellectual ability, academic
rigour, self-discipline and dedication”. A thesis is often part of a PhD degree, this must meet
international standards of excellence and is assessed by three examiners, one from VUW, one
from another New Zealand University and one from an oversees university (Victoria
University of Wellington 10, n.d.).

Dependent on the programme, prerequisites for postgraduate programmes include achieving a


bachelor’s degree at least a specified minimum grade, holding relevant work/leadership
experience and obtaining acceptance from the programme director (Victoria University of
Wellington 4, n.d.).

Strategy
It is recommended that the product offerings remain unchanged. It is believed that VBSs
product offerings have high perceived quality among customers. This is because of VBSs
sheer number and diversity of program offerings as well as internationally renowned
accreditations including the Triple Crown, as previously discussed. Additionally, VBSs
perceived quality is likely heightened through strong affiliations with VUW which projects
an image of product reliability and durability due to its longstanding presence and historic
strength, being established in 1897 (Victoria University of Wellington 12, n.d.). The Pipitea
Campus developments (completed at the beginning of 2017) enhance the experience aspect
of VBS, displaying to customers VBSs commitment to providing a first-class student
experience, in turn, affirming and building VBSs perceived quality (Victoria University of
Wellington 13, n.d.). Another aspect that enhances the perceived quality of VBSs product
offerings is the after-marketing and complimentary services, these include student support
such as libraries, printers, after hours’ university access, customer service contacts, course
advisors, Victoria information desks, disability services and international student support
(Victoria University of Wellington 14, n.d.). The well-designed products, along with after
marketing and complimentary services, lead us to believe that VBSs perceived quality is high
and in the short-term, product offerings do not need to be changed (Keller, 2011).

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Pricing Strategy
Appendix C shows an example of the approximate pricing of undergraduate programs for
both domestic and international students, as well as prices following the proposed price
increase. It is proposed that VBS implements a 2.5% increase on all programs, this will help
in funding the proposed rebranding across all touch points. The 2.5% increase is an estimated
figure, more research will need to be conducted into the costs of rebranding and this can be
spread across the fee. More in-depth research will also need to be conducted on the
implementation of a price increase and proposed future course fees for other New Zealand
Universities.

It is believed that this price increase can be successfully implemented without much backlash
if VBS focuses on value pricing, highlighting the quality of product offerings through
marketing efforts, affirming and building consumer perceptions on product value.
Additionally, there is a relationship between price and quality, with many linking higher
prices to increased quality (Keller, 2011; Kotier, Armstrong, Franke & Bunn, 1990). Through
using alternative pricing strategies, for example, breaking down the total Bachelor of
Commerce price into smaller prices for each paper, programs can also seem less expensive.

Though pricing does play a role in customer decisions on which university to attend, it is
arguable that because this is an expensive, experiential and educational product other aspects
are of more importance such as educational quality and physical locations. Additionally, it is
believed that the pricing of programs is going to be less of a focus for domestic students due
to the ability of obtaining student loans and free tuition in first year studies.

Channel Strategy
It is recommended that VBS continues using direct channels to sell its products. “Direct
channels mean selling through personal contacts from the company to prospective customers
by mail, phone, electronic means, in-person visits, and so forth”. VBS largest platform for
selling and advertising program applications is through the VUW website, this is
recommended as there are high needs for product information, product customisation,
product quality assurance and logistics. The ability to apply for VBS online is also very
beneficial as many prospective students are based out of the Wellington Region. Indirect

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channels such as cooperative advertising between VUW and VBS is also recommended
(Keller, 2011).

Launching and Leveraging the Brand

Communicating the brand


“Marketing communications are the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, and
remind consumers—directly or indirectly— about the brands they sell.” Through marketing
communications, a brand is able to establish dialogue and build relationships with consumers,
as well as create exposure and solidify a desired brand image, ultimately contributing to
brand equity (Keller, 2011; Prasad & Kumar, 2016).

Advertising

Television
Through advertisements, brands are able to create strong, favourable and unique brand
associations. Television advertisements allow for sight, sound and motion, additionally the
wide reach of television advertising translates to low cost per exposure. Umbrella branding
can effectively be implemented through a VUW television advertisement that portrays VUW
as well as individual schools including VBS. This is an effective medium to portray VBSs
new branding, enhancing awareness and eliciting positive consumer responses. Television
advertisements should be targeted around times that have high viewership among
undergraduates parents, i.e., 1 News and Seven Sharp. Generally educated parents watch
these television shows and they have high persuasiveness on undergraduates university
decisions.

Direct Marketing

Mail
In previous years VUW mailed information booklets to Year 13 college students throughout
New Zealand, along with a bar of Whittaker’s chocolate. It is recommended that this
initiative is undertaken again with VUW as the umbrella brand from VBS and other
departments. Chocolate could be more personalised, embossed with the new VUW logo, in

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turn, increasing exposure and buzz marketing.

Interactive Marketing

Website
Both VUWs and VBSs webpages should be kept up to date, providing all brand information
relevant to consumer’s needs. With a rebranding, updates need to be diligently implemented
across all webpage touchpoints.

Email
Email advertising should be used to increase postgraduate engagement, potentially
influencing word of mouth exposure given by postgraduates and increasing enrolments.
Emails should include stories of alumni success, VUW enhancements etc.

Social Media
VBSs Facebook page should be kept up to date and postings should be consistent, this can
help in maintaining and building relationships and engagements with potential students,
current students and postgraduates. Additionally, the use of a Facebook page will help VBS
in fostering a sense of community. VBSs Facebook page can also be used to complement and
reinforce other communications activities. As the VUW Facebook page has a larger
following than the VBS Facebook page, VBS should ensure that VUW is sharing their posts,
ultimately increasing exposure and potential engagement.

Online Advertising
Targeted online marketing through Facebook and Instagram is an effective way for VBS and
VUW to advertise to a select audience. Geographic and demographic targeting can be used,
for example VBS could target individuals in New Zealand aged 16-22, ultimately increasing
exposure and awareness with the target audience. Additionally, remarketing should be
implemented by VUW as it is a cost-effective way of advertising to those who have already
viewed the VUW webpage, increasing exposure to those who already have an interest in
VUW. Online advertising is additionally an effective tool in reaching international students.

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Outdoor Promotion
Outdoor promotions are an effective way to reach a wide audience in different geographical
locations. Outdoor promotions should be used through billboards, bus shelters and bus
advertisements, across major New Zealand cities including Wellington, Auckland and
Christchurch. Through placing billboards in high-profile sites with slow moving traffic
during peak periods, viewership can be maximised. Outdoor advertisement implementation
should be through both umbrella branding with VUW and individual branding, ultimately
increasing product exposure and awareness. These advertisements will be beneficial in
reaching New Zealand based potential undergraduates and postgraduates.

Events
Through the use of events such as VUW open days and school visitations where different
departments and subjects have their own stand set up, VBS can create an experience,
providing potential customers with knowledge. In turn, VBS can strengthen relationships,
increase exposure and affirm the overall VBS and VUW brand image

Leverage the brand


“By making a connection between the brand and another entity, consumers may form a
mental association from the brand to this other entity and, consequently, to any or all
associations, judgments, feelings, and the like linked to that entity.”

VBS will leverage off VUW communications and branding. As VUW is viewed as the larger
entity, brand perceptions of VUW are likely to largely impact brand perceptions of VBS. All
national and international marketing efforts conducted by VUW will, in turn, if acted upon by
consumers, have an increase on VBSs exposure and brand awareness. Through connections
with VUW, VBSs awareness, knowledge, meaningfulness and transferability will increase
(Keller, 2011),

Long Term Strategy

Current branding decisions will indirectly impact the success of future branding and
marketing strategies; therefore, all branding decisions must be made with the long-term

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strategy in mind. Brand consistency is key to maintaining brand strength and positive brand
associations. Branding must be consistent across all touchpoints and marketers must actively
reinforce brand meaning to consumers through affirming brand awareness and brand image.
The amount of marketing support the brand receives should also be consistent and never
complacent. Whilst maintain brand consistency, it is important to move forward to remain in
line with shifts in consumer behaivour, competitive strategies, government regulations and
technological advances. In order to maintain the strategic direction and thrust of the brand,
VBS may be required to make tactical shifts and changes. VBSs key elements should not
change, however, each element should be regularly examined and its contribution to brand
equity measured. For long term stability, prices may need to be altered in the future, in order
to remain reflective of the University market and remain competitive. Additionally, product
offerings may be added and dropped to keep up with demand, for example, with increasing
technological advancements new VBS information system courses will likely be introduced.
“Product innovation and relevance are paramount in maintaining continuity and expanding
the meaning of the brand”. Nevertheless, throughout any tactical shifts it is important that
VBS continues its strategic positioning as an industry leading in education, this can be
achieved by pushing this message across all touch points and marketing efforts (Keller,
2011).

Revitalising the VBS brand may be an essential action needed to be taken in the future and a
new strategic direction may need to be formulated. Revitalising VBS may include expanding
brand awareness and improving brand image through identifying the target market,
repositioning the brand, changing brand elements and brand extensions. When making brand
revitalisation decisions, marketers need to “accurately and completely characterise the
breadth and depth of brand awareness; the strength, favourability and uniqueness of brand
associations and brand responses held in consumer memory; and the nature of consumer-
brand relationships” (Keller, 2011).

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Risks

There are various risks involved in the rebranding, from a consumers perspective the VBS
rebranding may lead to the functional risk of the product not performing up to expectations or
the financial risk of the product not being worth the price paid. This can lead to a negative
brand perception and image (Keller, 2011). However, this risk can be mitigated through
ensuring that VBS courses remain of a high quality and a long-term strategy is focused on,
with VBS product offerings adapting to current world trends. Additionally, it is important to
ensure that VBS branding is truly reflective of VBS product offerings.
Other risks of a VBS rebranding include short-term public backlash. This is likely following
the widespread backlash to the announced VUW rebranding and name change. Through
submitted feedback, an overwhelming 75% of VUW staff, students, alumni and other
stakeholders oppose the VUW name change (Long, 2018). Additionally, there has been a
public petition formed in protest to the name change which so far has gained approximately
8300 signatures (Change.org, n.d.). It has been revealed that the proposed VUW name
change could cost $1 million over the next couple of years and many argue that this money
could be better spent on developing courses and research, to aid in making VUW a world
class university. Others argue that the “Victoria” has become a part of Wellingtons identity
and that a name change is unnecessary. Another important note is that many alumni have
complained that changing the name of VUW to UoW will mean that their academic
transcripts and certifications will be written out to a now non-existent university, in time
lessoning their perceived credibility. Though VUW has stated that they would reissue
academic transcripts and certification for alumni if requested. On the other hand, these
backlashes are focused towards VUW and many may see it as an inevitable step that VBS
change its name alongside VUW to remain reflective of the university. Rather than placing
backlash on VBS, they are more likely to focus it on VUW as a whole. However, regardless
this will likely still negatively impact VBSs perceived brand image by some in the short term
(Long, 2018).

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https://www.victoria.ac.nz/about/victorias-story

Victoria University of Wellington 13. (n.d). Campus Developments. Retrieved from


https://www.victoria.ac.nz/about/explore-victoria/campuses/developments

Victoria University of Wellington 14. (n.d). Student Services and Support. Retrieved from
https://www.victoria.ac.nz/students/support

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Appendices

Appendix A

Appendix B

Te Herenga Waka
University of
Wellington
Business School
NEW ZEALAND

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Chelsea Drury - 300343296

Appendix C

All figures are approximate, in NZD and based on one year or less of study. All international
prices are converted from USD. All new prices are following a 2.5% price increase.

Domestic Price International New Domestic New


Price Price International
Price
Bachelor of $7,212 $30,551 $7,392 $31,314
Commerce
Graduate $3,996 $15,720 $4,095 $16,113
Certificate in
Commerce
Graduate $3,996 $15,720 $4,095 $16,113
Certificate in
Restorative
Justice Practice
Graduate $7212 $30,551 $7,392 $31,314
Diploma in
Commerce

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