A Brand Culture Approach to Chinese Cultural Heritage Brands
Schroeder, J. E., Borgerson, J. L. and Wu, Z. (2015), A Brand Culture Approach to Chinese Cultural Heritage Brands, Journal of Brand Management, Forthcoming.
29 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2015
Date Written: January 31, 2015
This research represents an effort to fill the gap between brand development studies focusing expressly on Western brands and their markets and culture-specific global brand development in emerging markets, such as China. Case studies are presented of two Chinese brands, Shanghai Tang and Shang Xia, which use cultural heritage in their branding strategy. A consumer perspective sheds light on how consumers co-create brand meaning for cultural heritage brands, and clarifies concepts of brand culture, cultural heritage, and brand heritage. A brand culture approach offers new perspectives on how brand actors co-create, circulate, and re-configure existing meanings of brands and cultures, and how Chinese brands become vehicles for meaning co-creation across national boundaries. Implications include the benefits of being prepared to compete with a new type of Chinese brand that taps into China’s rich cultural heritage, instead of relying on cheap mass production; connecting to ideas of Chineseness and drawing upon shared cultural knowledge to build brand values; engaging with cultural tensions, rather than sidestepping them; providing employees with in depth training about the cultural aspects of the brand in order to align branding strategy with operational identity; and engaging the co-creative stakeholders that play important roles in cultural heritage brands.
Keywords: Brand culture, branding, brand development, brand management, case study, China, Chinese branding, cultural heritage brand, luxury
JEL Classification: L67, M13, M30, M31 ,P31, Z10
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