A Marketing and Industrial Relations Alliance to Generate Positive Brand Awareness for Gen Y: The Case of the National Tertiary Education Union

DOI 10.14707/ajbr.180048

Helen Madden-Hallett
College of Business, Victoria University, Australia

Henry Wai Leong Ho
College of Business, Ferris State University, USA

Abstract

This paper examines issues relating to the brand image of unions overall, followed by an examination of the brand image of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). It utilises components of the service Gap Model (Parasuraman et al., 1985) and service quality conceptualisation. In total, 35 in-depth interviews were conducted; four with union officials, 21 Gen Y (non-member) and 10 Gen Y (member) staff at the University. The research found that there was a noticeable lack of workplace presence by the NTEU, which in itself lead to a weakened brand image. For the majority of Gen Y interviewees unions did not play an important role in their work life. The interviewees did not attribute important workplace conditions to the efforts of the NTEU and several interviewees reported poor service experiences leading to further poor perceptions of the brand. The majority of unions are facing substantial membership losses that for some have continued unabated for decades. It is not only the duration of decline, but also the exponential growth of the losses that makes this research timely and, it is hoped, a step in the direction of using marketing techniques to successfully stem the tide of losses.

Keywords: Branding; Brand Awareness; Gen Y; Trade Union; In-depth Interview

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