The marketing literature has not specifically addressed how customers perceive the type of strategic alliance inherent in university-corporate partnerships, which are primarily implicitly, versus explicitly known as in the case of co-brands or brand alliances. This study uncovers customer perceptions of university-corporate partnerships and examines how beliefs about university-corporate partnerships influence attitude toward the university brand. The results of focus groups and a survey are presented demonstrating that university customers have conflicting beliefs about university-corporate partnerships and that attitude toward the university is influenced (1) positively by beliefs about the benefits provided by university-corporate partnerships, (2) positively by beliefs about the importance of shopping with university-corporate partners, and (3) negatively by beliefe about university-corporate partnerships creating limitations on customer choices. Implications for theory and practice are offered.
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