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Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets: A Case Study on China

Entrepreneurship in International Marketing

ISBN: 978-1-78441-448-1, eISBN: 978-1-78441-447-4

Publication date: 31 January 2015


The luxury brands sales in emerging markets will see rapid growth. When entering the emerging markets, luxury fashion brands always find it challenging to balance adaption with local consumer culture and standardization to maintain their global brand image. The present study attempts to examine this intriguing issue of adaptation and standardization and many other challenges for luxury brands in the emerging market by focusing on China’s luxury market. A case study on China is conducted, which consisted of reviewing academic literature and consulting trade reports, examining over 50 luxury brands’ Chinese websites, reading newspaper articles, conducting field trips to luxury retail outlets, and studying luxury brands’ advertisements in major Chinese fashion magazines. We identified five intriguing market characteristics that must be taken into account in order to succeed in this market. Specifically, we found that to perform well in China’s luxury market, luxury brands should have a good understanding of the conflicting Chinese social cultural sentiments toward luxury consumption. Luxury brands should seek a balance between standardization and adaptation and appeal to both consumers’ converging needs and their desire for products that embrace local elements. Further, given the unique consumer characteristics, luxury brands should better serve the young and economically diverse consumer base in China.



Cui, A.P., Wajda, T.A. and Walsh, M.F. (2015), "Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets: A Case Study on China", Entrepreneurship in International Marketing (Advances in International Marketing, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 287-305.



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