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Brand cultural symbolism, brand authenticity, and consumer well-being: the moderating role of cultural involvement

Yufan Jian (College of Management, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China)
Zhimin Zhou (Department of Marketing, College of Management, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China)
Nan Zhou (Department of Marketing, College of Management, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 5 April 2019

Issue publication date: 17 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to improve knowledge regarding the complicated relationship among brand cultural symbolism, consumer cultural involvement, brand authenticity and consumer well-being. Although some literature has mentioned the relationship between the above concepts, these relationships have not been confirmed by empirical studies.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the self-determination theory and the authenticity theory, a causal model of brand cultural symbolism, consumers’ enduring cultural involvement, brand authenticity and consumer well-being is developed. The structural equation model and multiple regressions are used to test the hypothesis. The primary data are based on an online survey conducted in China (N = 533). A total of six brands from the USA, France and China were selected as study samples.

Findings

The data reveal that brand cultural symbolism has a positive relationship with brand authenticity and consumer well-being; brand authenticity partially mediates the relationship between brand cultural symbolism and consumer well-being; and find a weakening effect of consumers’ enduring cultural involvement on the relationship between brand cultural symbolism and brand authenticity.

Research limitations/implications

The weakening effect of consumers’ enduring cultural involvement on the relationship between brand cultural symbols and brand authenticity should be further verified through experiments and the model should be tested in different cultural backgrounds from a cross-cultural perspective.

Practical implications

The present study offers novel insights for brand managers by highlighting brand authenticity as the fundamental principle that explains the effect of cultural symbolism of brands, consumers’ enduring cultural involvement, as well as eudaimonic and hedonic well-being.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that cultural significance of a brand is closely related to brand authenticity and consumer well-being; however, on consumers with a highly enduring cultural involvement, the effect of brand culture symbolism and brand authenticity is weakened. This is an interesting finding because in this case, consumers may measure brand authenticity more based on the brand actual behavior (e.g. brand non-commercial tendency and brand social responsibility) rather than the symbolic image.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This article was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71772126).

Citation

Jian, Y., Zhou, Z. and Zhou, N. (2019), "Brand cultural symbolism, brand authenticity, and consumer well-being: the moderating role of cultural involvement", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 529-539. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-08-2018-1981

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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