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Uncovering generalized patterns of brand competition in China

Margaret Faulkner (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Oanh Truong (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Jenni Romaniuk (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 11 November 2014




The purpose of this research is to analyze brand competition in China using the Duplication of Purchase (DoP) law, with important implications for understanding Chinese buyer behavior in comparison with Western buyers. Discovered in the Western markets, the DoP law holds across a variety of product categories.


Multiple sets of new data are examined to extend past research in the application of the DoP law in Chinese buying behavior. This study draws on panel data and self-reported data, utilizing bootstrapping to identify partitions where excess sharing occurs.


This paper finds the DoP law holds across six categories (two personal care, two impulse categories and two durables), as well as over multiple years. Brands in China share customers with other brands in line with the market share of the competitor brand. There were few partitions where brands shared significantly more customers than expected. Partitions occur due to the same umbrella brand or ownership, and geographic location.

Research limitations/implications

Areas for further research include extended replication in other categories, investigating partitions and whether a different consumer path to purchase occurs in China.

Practical implications

DoP can be applied across a wide range of categories in China to understand market structure. New entrants to China can use this approach to understand a category from a consumer behavior perceptive. DoP provides guidelines for marketers to identify competition and allocate resources appropriately.


This research provides a comprehensive, unparalleled examination across six very different categories of brand competition in China. This gives confidence in the robustness and generalizability of the results.



Faulkner, M., Truong, O. and Romaniuk, J. (2014), "Uncovering generalized patterns of brand competition in China", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 23 No. 7, pp. 554-571.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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