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The impact of dialectical thinking on androgynous brand equity across cultures: the moderating role of brand positioning

Alberto Bravo Velázquez (School of Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, China) (School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, UK)
Haiming Hang (School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, UK)
Shengnan Ren (School of Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, China)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 3 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

The authors’ research examines the impact of cross-cultural difference in dialectical thinking on consumers' responses to androgynous brands and its implication for brand equity. Their research also aims to see how consumers take both feminine and masculine attributes into consideration to form their judgments of androgynous brand equity and whether this process is moderated by brand positioning.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors did two experiments with 400 Chinese consumers (high in dialectical thinking) and 528 British consumers (low in dialectical thinking) to test our framework.

Findings

The authors’ experimental results suggest an androgynous brand has higher brand equity in China than in the UK. Furthermore, Chinese consumers rate higher feminine/masculine attributes of masculine/feminine brands. In addition, an androgynous brand's equity is mainly driven by its less dominant attributes. Finally, their results suggest that brand positioning moderates the mediating role of less dominant attributes, more evident when brand positioning matches (vs mismatches) an androgynous brand's more dominant attributes.

Originality/value

By focusing on cross-cultural differences in dialectical thinking, the authors’ research offers a novel approach to reconcile existing inconclusive results on androgynous brand equity. Second, to their best knowledge, their research is the first to examine how feminine and masculine attributes jointly decide androgynous brand equity. Finally, by focusing on brand positioning, their research highlights the importance of an androgynous brand's less dominant attributes in driving its brand equity and provides a tool international marketing managers can use to strengthen such influence.

Keywords

Citation

Bravo Velázquez, A., Hang, H. and Ren, S. (2023), "The impact of dialectical thinking on androgynous brand equity across cultures: the moderating role of brand positioning", International Marketing Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-08-2021-0257

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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