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The role of brand equity and face saving in Chinese luxury consumption

Noel Yee-Man Siu (Department of Marketing, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Ho Yan Kwan (Department of Marketing, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Celeste Yunru Zeng (Department of Marketing, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 13 June 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the impact of brand equity on Chinese consumers’ affective attitudes toward luxury brands and their behavioral intentions by applying the cognitive-affective model. The interaction effect between face saving and consumer’s affective attitude on luxury consumption is also examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A field survey was conducted using a sample of 248 luxury consumers in three Chinese cities.

Findings

Brand equity was found positively to predict Chinese consumers’ affective attitudes and their willingness to pay a premium price for a luxury brand. Moreover, consumers who highly value face saving were found to be more willing to pay a premium price, even though they hold a less positive attitude toward the brand.

Research limitations/implications

The use of cross-sectional survey data with young Chinese consumers in first-tier cities may limit the generalizability of the findings as well as precluding the making of causal inferences.

Practical implications

Global luxury marketers who plan to enter the China market can utilize marketing strategies to create prestigious value and appeal to consumers who seek for social approval and status.

Originality/value

Previous published studies of brand equity and luxury consumption have primarily emphasized Western markets. These findings advance our understanding of luxury purchase intention among young Chinese consumers, for whom the need for social acceptance acts as a crucial motivator in luxury consumption. The results contribute to amplifying the brand equity concept by taking cultural context into consideration.

Keywords

Citation

Siu, N.Y.-M., Kwan, H.Y. and Zeng, C.Y. (2016), "The role of brand equity and face saving in Chinese luxury consumption", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 245-256. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-08-2014-1116

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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