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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Giana M. Eckhardt and Nikhilesh Dholakia

In this editorial introduction to the special issue, the authors lay out the problem of inadequate qualitative research about markets and consumers in the vast…

610

Abstract

Purpose

In this editorial introduction to the special issue, the authors lay out the problem of inadequate qualitative research about markets and consumers in the vast demographic‐economic space represented by Asia and present an integrative view of six articles that tackle this problematique. The aim of this editorial and the rest of the special issue is not so much to redress the imbalance of inadequate qualitative work on Asia's markets and consumers, but rather to begin to address the problem and start offering directions and suggestions that may make strides toward addressing it.

Design/methodology/approach

This editorial introduction presents the perspectives of the special issue editors and introduces the six articles that are part of this issue. It is a conceptual piece.

Findings

While the authors' main goal here is to summarize and introduce the work of the authors featured in this issue, they also strive to present a meta‐theoretic frame to guide future similar efforts.

Practical implications

The efforts of the authors in this special issue should serve as demonstrable evidence that interesting, well‐executed qualitative research on Asian markets and consumers is possible and publishable, and motivate other researchers – particularly those based in Asia – to undertake further such work.

Social implications

Qualitative work on Asian markets and consumers, particularly if produced organically in Asia, would help in a rounder and more insightful understanding of this demographically enormous, culturally rich and economically rising space.

Originality/value

The value of this introductory piece lies in its integration of the articles in the issue, and in presenting a meta‐theoretic frame on the central problematique of inadequate qualitative research on markets and consumers of Asia.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 January 2010

Giana M. Eckhardt and Anders Bengtsson

This paper and accompanying film demonstrate the techniques of using scenarios, breaching expectations, and using naturalistic groups as being especially appropriate for…

1413

Abstract

Purpose

This paper and accompanying film demonstrate the techniques of using scenarios, breaching expectations, and using naturalistic groups as being especially appropriate for conducting qualitative marketing research in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is used to investigate the social construction of brands in China and to demonstrate how to create naturalistic group interviews in China, and why it is beneficial to do so. A film footage of the various groups discussing the scenarios presented to them is presented so the viewer can observe the interactions between the group members.

Findings

In this paper, it is argued that only certain qualitative methods are appropriate in a Chinese context, due to various aspects of Chinese culture which de‐emphasize expressing one's thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and values openly. In the accompanying film, it is demonstrated how: presenting Chinese consumers with scenarios that they can relate to stimulates meaningful discussion; breaching people's expecations is what allows people to articulate underlying meaning systems; and conducting interviews in existing, naturally formed social groups, all lead to naturalistic discussions.

Originality/value

As marketing and consumer research becomes more global, the field of qualitative research needs to take a critical approach to the effectiveness of varying methodologies in varying cultural contexts. A first step in this direction is taken by outlining how and why particular qualitative methods are effective in China. Naturalistic group interviews can also be used in a wide variety of countries and cultural contexts when the construct of interest is the social dynamics of a consumption activity.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Alladi Venkatesh, Seema Khanwalkar, Lynda Lawrence and Steven Chen

The purpose of this research is to explore the cultural and branding issues that have gone into the design and development of Nano – a brand name for an Indian automobile…

2264

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to explore the cultural and branding issues that have gone into the design and development of Nano – a brand name for an Indian automobile – which is a low‐priced passenger vehicle targeted toward the middle‐class Indian consumer in urban settings.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a cultural framework for the brand initiative and its execution. Specifically, the paper uses an ethnoconsumerism approach to the issue of cultural branding.

Findings

The Nano car was conceived and executed under two narratives: an economical and affordable vehicle, and a brand appeal that would satisfy Indian cultural sensibilities.

Research limitations/implications

Cultural branding is becoming a popular approach in product positioning. This research shows that an ethnoconsumerist framework is ideally suited for examining cultural branding issues.

Originality/value

With the emergence of global markets, new methodologies have to be employed in studying cultural issues pertaining to local conditions. Toward this end, the paper provides an application of the ethnoconsumerism approach for studying branding phenomena.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 July 2007

Julien Cayla and Giana M. Eckhardt

This study aims to analyze Asian branding strategies at the regional level, and provide a map of opportunities and challenges for Asian regional branding.

8196

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze Asian branding strategies at the regional level, and provide a map of opportunities and challenges for Asian regional branding.

Design/methodology/approach

The study takes, a multi‐sited interpretive approach and interview 22 brand managers throughout the Asian region. The length of interviews was approximately 1.5 hours/respondent. In‐depth case studies of two prominent pan‐Asian brands, Tiger Beer and Zuji, were also conducted. An interpretive analysis to this data set was applied and five themes were developed.

Findings

The two major challenges for regional Asian branding are negative country of origin perceptions and regional positioning being inherently fragile. Despite these key challenges, our respondents saw clear opportunities for regional branding initiatives. Brands can achieve a regional positioning by focusing on Asian modernity rather than on common cultural heritage. They can also capitalize on newfound Asian pride and confidence, and finally they can use a Western stamp of approval to signal to Asians the viability of the brand.

Originality/value

The paper extends previous work on the globalization of marketing activities by advancing the region as an important unit of analysis. It helps understand the development of brands in a part of the world that is becoming more important at the economic and political level. The study shows how marketers are shaping culture in the Asian context. Finally, the paper contributes a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with a regional positioning and the development of regional branding strategies.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Pia Polsa

Crystallization calls for the interaction between mind, body and spirit. While the knowledge of the mind is how we are used to see knowledge creation, the body influences…

Abstract

Purpose

Crystallization calls for the interaction between mind, body and spirit. While the knowledge of the mind is how we are used to see knowledge creation, the body influences the co‐creation and the embodied experience between the researcher and the participant as a human instrument for understanding. Spirit refers to the sensitivity to ethics in preventing the reaffirmation of the stereotypical narratives. The purpose of the article is to demonstrate how body and spirit in addition to mind can provide alternative insights on a research topic.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study focuses on the body and spirit. Self‐reflective empirical narratives from China and India evidence interpretive findings that suggest that crystallization help us to create an emic understanding of those studied and affirms our commitment to them.

Findings

The interpretive findings demonstrate that with help of body and spirit research can move towards indigenous findings of the research site that can be put into action to improve the life of those studied. Two new quality criteria are established to trustworthiness namely indigenousness and action orientation.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to research methodology by demonstrating how in addition to mind generated findings reflections from body and spirit open new avenues to additional findings. It is proposed that knowledge from body and spirit is particularly important in Asian settings because of the Asian culture's holistic view on life and tolerance for multiple truths.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Russell Belk

The purpose of this review is to offer a summary of visual and projective research methods that have been applied or may be applied fruitfully in an Asian context…

2286

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to offer a summary of visual and projective research methods that have been applied or may be applied fruitfully in an Asian context. Examples are provided and a delineation of the strengths and weaknesses of the methods is made.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review article covering a number of different relevant methods and briefly reviewing studies that have been conducted in Asia using these methods.

Findings

The paper reviews five different uses of qualitative visual and projective methods in Asian consumer and market research: as archival data for analysis; as direct stimuli for data collection; as projective stimuli for data collection; as a means for recording qualitative data; and as a means for presenting qualitative findings.

Research limitations/implications

It is suggested that Asia contains a rich visual culture and that the research techniques reviewed offer compelling means for enhancing data collection, data analysis, and findings presentations from qualitative market and consumer research in Asia.

Originality/value

The paper brings together a diverse array of prior research illustrating the potential of the methods reviewed. In addition to discussing this research a number of references are provided for those wishing to examine these methods in greater detail and apply them to their own research.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Soonkwan Hong and Chang‐Ho Kim

The purpose of this study is to present a theoretical framework to demythologize Asian consumers' cultural and ideological narratives in relation to the newly emerging…

4237

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to present a theoretical framework to demythologize Asian consumers' cultural and ideological narratives in relation to the newly emerging popular culture developed in Korea, widely known as “Korean wave.” In addition, methodological considerations for the understudied consumption phenomenon are also discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

From the extant literature on popular culture and globalization, a theoretical overview of Korean popular culture (KPC) is provided. Subsequently, a condensed presentation of netnography employing critical discourse analysis (CDA) is provided.

Findings

A netnography fused with CDA suggests a reflexive process in which a range of sociocultural tensions in the globalization process of KPC dynamically hybridize and transform into new cultural tastes in respective cultures.

Research limitations/implications

Cultural branding can be revisited, as the new discourse generated in Asia envisions new entries into the global brandscape. Moreover, this endeavor helps explicate how a globalized trend is replaced with another through a paradoxical discursive process.

Originality/value

As this article discusses popular culture as a product to be consumed just as are other tangible products, it assists researchers in visualizing and theorizing about the globalization process of incorporeal, cultural products. The application of discursively enriched netnography facilitates pertinent analysis and ultimately theory‐building.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2007

Amalia E. Maulana and Giana M. Eckhardt

This study aims to understand the meaning of web site connectedness from the consumer's point of view, and uncover the underlying meaning of emotional ties between…

2026

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand the meaning of web site connectedness from the consumer's point of view, and uncover the underlying meaning of emotional ties between visitors and web sites.

Design/methodology/approach

The study, conducted a netnography which uses three qualitative research methods: online interviews; diary analysis; and observation of web site usage and behaviour. Seven respondents were obtained for the depth interviews, and 12 respondents participated in the diary study. The length of interviews was approximately 1.5 hours/respondent; whereas the three‐consecutive days of diary entries consist of three‐four pages per day/respondent. Observation was undertaken by the lead researcher as an active member of several user groups.

Findings

The emic perspective illuminated here shows that web site connectedness consists of three major themes: relatability; dependency; and sense of community. The paper defines these constructs, and suggests that to transform the relationship from “just friends” to “soul mates” web site owners should focus on improving one or all of the connectedness components. Surprisingly, frequency of visit did not determine the depth of the relationship between web sites and their visitors, as is the common assumption in the literature.

Originality/value

This research study illuminates a new way to understand the emotional connection between consumers and web sites, and uncovers the three most important factors that lead toward three varying levels of emotional connectedness (just friends, good acquaintances and soul mates). The paper also suggests ways in which emotional connectedness can be enhanced.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Mary Ann McGrath, John F. Sherry and Nina Diamond

The aim of this paper is to expand the scant literature related to retail branding ideology and the application of mythotypes to flagship stores within the Chinese…

2029

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to expand the scant literature related to retail branding ideology and the application of mythotypes to flagship stores within the Chinese setting. The study explores the transplantation of a retail brand ideology in the form of complex home‐country cultural content to a host culture whose local retail narratives differ significantly from those of the brand enterprise.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an ethnographic study that spans the two years of the focal store's existence. With the help of native‐speaking graduate assistants, store visits, interviews with Chinese locals and internet mentions and secondary information were collected. Data include fieldnotes, interview transcripts, photographs, news articles, blog comments and website information.

Findings

The paper details the mythotypic mistuning of marketscape and mindscape that contributed to the failure of this flagship store and build theory concerning the implementation of retail brand ideology and retail theatrics. The paper concludes that successful themed flagship brand stores encapsulate ideology in stories composed of mythotypes and encourages the enactment of that ideology through multiple, interrelated brand experiences. Misalignments of these mythotypes can impede the acceptance of retail brand ideology and the diffusion of the retail theatre concept.

Originality/value

While foreign and domestic flagship brand stores have flourished in China, cultural propriety of these stores includes a host of physical design cues that must mesh with the local culture's sensibilities and the brand's provenance. To translate the retail brand ideology into customer‐centric meaning is challenging. The presence or absence of mythotypes comprising the servicescape profoundly affect their success.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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