By Wu Zhiyan, Janet Borgerson & Jonathan Schroeder
Global brand literacy is expanding rapidly, as is the appeal of brand identity, for a growing number of brand conscious Chinese consumers. Below, Wu Zhiyan, Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder examine how Chinese branding efforts express significant aspects of Chinese brand culture, and explore the possibilities and processes of constructing global Chinese brands.
Our research on Chinese brand culture investigates the processes and possibilities of developing global brands via a brand culture approach. Often, studies in international marketing and consumer research overlook the ways in which brand development adapts to market conditions and, importantly, contributes to public discourse. Although contexts and situations may be acknowledged to influence, if not determine, brand meanings, the co creative power of multiple brand actors is often overlooked.
In contrast, a brand culture approach directs our attention to shifts and changes that occur through repeated interactions between various actors across time and space. In this way, a cultural analysis of brand development draws attention to emerging new knowledge around the co creation and circulation of brands and cultures, highlighting gaps in previous approaches. Culture, which includes aspects of particular histories and moments of creative innovation, can be perceived as a resource upon which branding processes and practices can draw. Yet, there are many ways in which branding processes and practices – and brands themselves – go beyond this subsidiary role, and indeed, co create culture.