Connecting or Disconnecting: Luxury Branding on Social Media and Affluent Chinese Female Consumers’ Interpretations

13 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2018

See all articles by Huan Chen

Huan Chen

University of Florida

Ye Wang

University of Missouri at Kansas City

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

With the increasing popularity of mobile social media among Chinese consumers, Western luxury brands attempt to connect with the Chinese market via popular social media applications. However, due to cultural differences and features of social media, Western luxury brands are facing challenges in building social presence, creating self-presentation, and interacting with Chinese consumers via social media. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to understand the strategic use of social media in luxury branding and Chinese consumers’ perception and interpretation of such practices. Applying triangulation, this study conducted content analysis on seven Western luxury brands’ WeChat public accounts in 2015, and in-depth interviews with seventeen female luxury consumers. The findings show that Western luxury brands primarily use rich media to build social presence, focus on the social meaning of self-presentation, and allow low-level consumer engagement. Consumers, meanwhile, perceive Western luxury brands’ social media advertising as conservative, distant, and inactive. Based upon the findings, this study suggests that Western luxury brands should provide more creative and entertaining value via social media advertising, appear to be more personal and relatable, and engage consumers at higher levels.

Keywords: Luxury brand advertising, Luxury branding, Social media, Mobile advertising, Consumer engagement

Suggested Citation

Chen, Huan and Wang, Ye, Connecting or Disconnecting: Luxury Branding on Social Media and Affluent Chinese Female Consumers’ Interpretations (June 2017). Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 24, Issue 6, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3189355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41262-017-0050-8

Huan Chen

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Ye Wang (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Kansas City ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

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