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Title: Corpus linguistics meets branding : brand personality in corpora of pre-1992 and post-1992 UK university websites
Author: Tongvivat, Yuwaree
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 8964
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2019
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The increasing prominence of digitally-led marketing communications has resulted in an increased demand to produce data-informed analysis to assist in decision-making within Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). As a method, corpus linguistics (CL) has advantages in its development of quantitative and qualitative approaches for conducting detailed and in-depth analysis of large corpora. Due to the advancement of the approaches, this study employs methods in CL to examine textual information of university websites. UK HEIs operate within the 'knowledge economy' (Brown and Carasso, 2013), where branding is a fundamental aspect of university management (Olssen and Peters, 2007). It is increasingly recognised that prospective students are using university websites and the information they provide to make decisions about where they will pursue their HE (Burdett, 2013). Since students are faced with a large number of potential places to study, universities are encouraged to increase their differentiation and recognition. In seeking this 'brand uniqueness', universities can employ 'brand personality' - a concept that characterises brands akin to a person. The brand personality model comprises five dimensions: COMPETENCE, EXCITEMENT, RUGGEDNESS, SINCERITY and SOPHISTICATION (Aaker, 1997). Subsequently, Opoku et al. (2006) expanded lexicons of Aaker's (1997) model, and developed a dictionary of 833 words associated with brand personality. Opoku et al.'s (2006) dictionary of brand personality was used as the basis for analysing the textual content. The corpus statistics and methods in corpus linguistics were used to investigate the website texts that reflect the brand personality model and its dimensions and traits. In terms of the findings and contribution, Log Ratio was found to be a useful statistical measure for identifying key differences and themes in contexts. The greatest differences are in the EXCITEMENT dimension, which is more prominent in post-1992 universities, and SINCERITY, which is more salient in pre-1992 universities. There are some other differences at the level of text types. The pre-1992 corpus puts greater emphasis on research, while the post-1992 corpus places more emphases on academic and extra-curricular activities and enterprises. Both pre-1992 and post-1992 universities present their identity relating to 19 themes, such as collaboration, contribution to society, cosmopolitan experience, innovation, employability, and support for education and enterprise. Universities can use the findings from this study to develop their brands by focusing on the themes related to the brand personality dimensions that universities intend to emphasise as part of their identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available