The role of brand image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference

Jing Hu (Department of International Business and Marketing, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, California, USA)
Xin Liu (Department of International Business and Marketing, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, California, USA)
Sijun Wang (Department of Marketing and Business Law, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Zhilin Yang (Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Publication date: 24 February 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the role of functional and symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preferences in the auto market, and the role of brand familiarity in moderating the relationship between brand image congruity and consumers' preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

A one‐on‐one survey was administered to 1,440 consumers by market research specialists on two popular auto brands in China.

Findings

While confirming existing findings concerning functional image congruity, the results revealed that symbolic image congruity had a negative impact on Chinese consumers' brand preference when a brand's perceived symbolic image is higher than consumers' ideal expectations (i.e. upward incongruity), and brand familiarity does not moderate the role of symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference.

Originality/value

The paper's findings could help managers to improve their brand management and enhance consumer satisfaction.

Keywords

Citation

Hu, J., Liu, X., Wang, S. and Yang, Z. (2012), "The role of brand image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 26-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/10610421211203088

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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