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Seeking similarity or reserving differences: How face facilitate or restrict consumer’s need for uniqueness

Changzheng Wang (Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Xuechun Zhou (Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Minxue Huang (Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science

ISSN: 2516-7480

Article publication date: 24 September 2019

Issue publication date: 2 October 2019




Chinese face refers to reputation, others’ respect or compliance which is gained through self-representation and role-playing. The purpose of this paper is to identify and distinguish the four dimensions of face construct: personal identity-face, family identity-face, friend identity-face and occupational identity-face. Based on this, the authors discuss and investigate the influence of four different face dimensions on a consumer’s need for uniqueness (CNFU).


This research uses a questionnaire survey method and convenience samples. Subjects are students from a university in Wuhan operated directly under the Ministry of Education. A total of 730 questionnaires were distributed mainly in libraries and study rooms. After eliminating invalid questionnaires, 690 questionnaires were obtained. In sum, 44.1 percent research subjects are males, and 59 percent of them are undergraduate samples; 92.5 percent subjects’ monthly disposable consumption was less than 2,000 yuan.


The result shows that the influence paths and directions are different. Specifically, personal identity-face and family identity-face restrain CNFU through promoting interdependent self-construal, and friend identity-face and occupational identity-face facilitate CNFU through enhancing the consumer’s susceptibility to normative influence.


These findings are useful for clarify contemporary Chinese individuality-seeking consumption and conformity consumption behavior, and will shed light on form strategic practices, such as brand positioning and product communication.



Wang, C., Zhou, X. and Huang, M. (2019), "Seeking similarity or reserving differences: How face facilitate or restrict consumer’s need for uniqueness", Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 101-119.



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