The role of brand image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference

The role of brand image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference Purpose – This study aims to examine the role of functional and symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preferences in the auto market, and the role of brand familiarity in moderating the relationship between brand image congruity and consumers' preferences. Design/methodology/approach – A one‐on‐one survey was administered to 1,440 consumers by market research specialists on two popular auto brands in China. Findings – While confirming existing findings concerning functional image congruity, the results revealed that symbolic image congruity had a negative impact on Chinese consumers' brand preference when a brand's perceived symbolic image is higher than consumers' ideal expectations (i.e. upward incongruity), and brand familiarity does not moderate the role of symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference. Originality/value – The paper's findings could help managers to improve their brand management and enhance consumer satisfaction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Product & Brand Management Emerald Publishing

The role of brand image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1061-0421
D.O.I.
10.1108/10610421211203088
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This study aims to examine the role of functional and symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preferences in the auto market, and the role of brand familiarity in moderating the relationship between brand image congruity and consumers' preferences. Design/methodology/approach – A one‐on‐one survey was administered to 1,440 consumers by market research specialists on two popular auto brands in China. Findings – While confirming existing findings concerning functional image congruity, the results revealed that symbolic image congruity had a negative impact on Chinese consumers' brand preference when a brand's perceived symbolic image is higher than consumers' ideal expectations (i.e. upward incongruity), and brand familiarity does not moderate the role of symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference. Originality/value – The paper's findings could help managers to improve their brand management and enhance consumer satisfaction.

Journal

Journal of Product & Brand ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 24, 2012

Keywords: Brand image; Brand preference; Brand management; Auto market; Symbolic and functional congruity; China

References

  • The impact of parent brand attribute associations and affect on brand extension evaluation
    Bhat, S.; Reddy, S.
  • Symbolic and functional positioning of brands
    Bhat, S.; Reddy, S.K.
  • Added value: its nature, roles, and sustainability
    Chernatony, L.; Harris, F.
  • Development of consumer behavior patterns among Chinese children
    McNeal, J.U.; Yeh, C.
  • A functional and symbolic perspective to branding Australian SME wineries
    Mowle, J.; Merrilees, B.

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