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Cross-cultural impact on financial companies’ online brand personality

Xingsong Shi (University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China)
Xiaohui Shan (University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 19 March 2019

Issue publication date: 19 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate Chinese and American financial companies’ distinct brand personality indicators shown through culturally based linguistic features online. The potential correlation between culturally oriented brand personalities and companies’ financial performance is also examined.


This study employs computerized content analyses to examine the cross-cultural differences among 28 American and Chinese financial companies’ online communication based on Aaker’s brand personality framework.


The findings reveal that despite some similarities, there are significant differences between the frequencies and patterns of brand personality indicators on American and Chinese websites, which demonstrate the connection between the companies’ linguistic preferences with their different cultural backgrounds. It also proves that there could be significant relationship between financial companies’ corporate brand (CB) personality expressions and their financial performance, and US financial companies’ revenues are more closely correlated with brand personality dimensions than Chinese companies’.

Practical implications

The necessity for cross-cultural adaptation of CB personality is verified in this study. Chinese international companies may have a big room to improve their online corporate communication. Similarly, foreign companies who intend to enter into Chinese market may think about laying emphasis on their personality indicators of competence in their online corporate communication.


This research is among the first to utilize a corpus-based analytical tool to conduct content analyses of financial companies’ online brand personalities, in addition to empirically validate the correlations between companies’ brand personality indicators and financial performance. The study enriches the literature on online marketing communication, draws attention to the connection between cultural differences and linguistic preferences in CB personality construction and emphasizes the importance of making appropriate cross-cultural adaptation in online corporate communication.



The research was supported by “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities” “The Belt and Road” research database construction project of UIBE (TS4-06).


Shi, X. and Shan, X. (2019), "Cross-cultural impact on financial companies’ online brand personality", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 482-496.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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