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How global brands incorporating local cultural elements increase consumer purchase likelihood: An empirical study in China

Jiaxun He (Asia Europe Business School, Faculty of Economics and Management, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Cheng Lu Wang (Department of Marketing and Quantitative Analysis, College of Business, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Issue publication date: 10 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of incorporating Chinese elements in global brands on consumer purchase likelihood.


Six global brand products from three categories that utilized Chinese elements are used to test hypotheses. The Total Effect Moderation Model is used to analyze by combining moderation and mediation under a general analytical framework.


The results show that cultural compatibility has direct positive effect, in addition to an indirect effect (through local iconness) on purchase likelihood. Meanwhile, consumer cultural identity is found to moderate the impact of brand local iconness on purchase likelihood.

Practical implications

Evaluation and improvement of cultural compatibility in a global brand that incorporates Chinese elements is recommended for multinational marketers entering Chinese consumer markets. Meanwhile, marketers should pay attention to consumer cultural identity in the market segmentation process.


This paper takes a unique perspective to investigate whether and how global brands can succeed when adding local cultural elements to the product design, packaging and promotion in emerging markets like China.



This article was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos 71372177; 71072152) and sponsored by the Shanghai Pujiang Program (13PJC029). The authors thank Yi Wu and Runqi Xie for their help at the earlier stage of this research.


He, J. and Wang, C.L. (2017), "How global brands incorporating local cultural elements increase consumer purchase likelihood: An empirical study in China", International Marketing Review, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 463-479.



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