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Pawnbroking in pre-1949 China: soft strategies for overcoming a negative image

Pawnbroking in pre-1949 China: soft strategies for overcoming a negative image The purpose of this paper is to explore the means for enhancing the image and business legitimacy of a socially discredited industry – pawnbroking in pre-1949 China – are explored. Previous studies suggest companies operating within such industries cannot solely rely on hard marketing strategies “to maximize sales and profits as they do with soaps and shoes” (Davidson, 2003, p. 7). Instead, they must find soft strategies for improving company and industry image and legitimacy.Design/methodology/approachThis research relies on qualitative analysis of historical data and documents.FindingsSoft strategies deployed by Chinese pawnbrokers – such as interpretations, moral value advocacies and institutionalized arrangements – contributed substantially to improving pawnbroking’s image and business legitimacy.Research limitations/implicationsInterconnections among ethical values, image, business legitimacy and select marketing strategies are clarified. The efficacy of historically analyzing previously implemented business strategies and their embedding contexts is discussed.Practical implicationsStrategies Chinese pawnbrokers used to mitigate their previously negative image and boost their business legitimacy suggest strategies current socially disapproved companies can use to improve their image and business legitimacy.Originality/valueA historical analysis of pre-1949 Chinese pawnbroking can suggest soft marketing strategies for overcoming consumers’ negative company and industry impressions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics Emerald Publishing

Pawnbroking in pre-1949 China: soft strategies for overcoming a negative image

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References (33)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1355-5855
DOI
10.1108/apjml-10-2017-0262
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the means for enhancing the image and business legitimacy of a socially discredited industry – pawnbroking in pre-1949 China – are explored. Previous studies suggest companies operating within such industries cannot solely rely on hard marketing strategies “to maximize sales and profits as they do with soaps and shoes” (Davidson, 2003, p. 7). Instead, they must find soft strategies for improving company and industry image and legitimacy.Design/methodology/approachThis research relies on qualitative analysis of historical data and documents.FindingsSoft strategies deployed by Chinese pawnbrokers – such as interpretations, moral value advocacies and institutionalized arrangements – contributed substantially to improving pawnbroking’s image and business legitimacy.Research limitations/implicationsInterconnections among ethical values, image, business legitimacy and select marketing strategies are clarified. The efficacy of historically analyzing previously implemented business strategies and their embedding contexts is discussed.Practical implicationsStrategies Chinese pawnbrokers used to mitigate their previously negative image and boost their business legitimacy suggest strategies current socially disapproved companies can use to improve their image and business legitimacy.Originality/valueA historical analysis of pre-1949 Chinese pawnbroking can suggest soft marketing strategies for overcoming consumers’ negative company and industry impressions.

Journal

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and LogisticsEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2019

Keywords: Historical analysis; Business legitimacy; Image building; Pre-1949 Chinese pawnbroking; Socially discredited industries; Soft marketing strategies

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