Skip to main content
main-content
Top

About this book

This core adoptable textbook provides a comprehensive treatment of branding in Asia, focusing on a wide range of key Asian countries including China, India, Japan, South Korea and members of ASEAN. This edited collection includes a unique blend of theory, research and practice across both consumer and corporate branding and discusses the topics of brand communication, brand relationships, social media branding, brand reputation, place brands, university branding and brand innovation. Looking at the relationship between companies, brands and consumers, this book highlights the need for a variety of strategic responses to meet the needs of different Asian consumers.
Asia Branding is the perfect resource for Branding and International Marketing undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA students looking to gain further insight into this fascinating subject.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Asia Branding: Connecting Brands, Consumers and Companies

Abstract
Asia Branding: Connecting Brands, Consumers and Companies provides students and academics in business management and marketing with a comprehensive treatment of the nature of relationships between brands, consumers and companies in Asia. It explores current research and practices in different areas, regions, commercial and non-commercial sectors across Asia. The book serves as an invaluable resource for marketing and business management students requiring more than anecdotal evidence of branding different geographical areas in Asia. Readers will find it interesting to compare and contrast different markets covering important aspects related to brands, consumers and companies. The book includes an interesting mix of theory, research findings and practices that will engender confidence in academics and students of marketing and management alike.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

Introduction to Consumer-Based Branding Perspectives in Asia

Frontmatter

2. Impact of Cultural Factors on Indian Consumers' Brand Preference

Abstract
How does culture influence brand preference among Indian consumers? In this chapter we try to understand the role of culture in Indian consumers’ brand choice behaviour. Culture is considered to have a persuasive influence on consumers’ decision-making and behaviour. It is closely related with an individual’s values and social relationships. As with globalisation in India, culture is increasingly becoming a prominent strategic issue for organisations. Thus, this chapter’s purpose is to discuss the role of various cultural factors such as collectivism, traditionalism, ethnocentrism, price-value consciousness and materialism on Indian consumers’ brand preferences. The implications of these cultural influences for the marketer are discussed.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

3. Chinese Female Purchasing Intentions Towards Cosmetics Brands

Abstract
As Asian consumers increasingly desire modern lifestyles, the cosmetics industry has made a tremendous impact. Female consumers have been recognised as the industry’s primary target consumers due to their huge demands, formed by inherent societal and cultural patterns. The chapter develops a conceptual framework to understand the purchase intentions of Chinese female consumers towards cosmetics brands, covering essential attributes in consumer attitudes. The proposed framework consists of (a) consumer attitude, (b) perceived behavioural control and (c) perceived availability, all of which influence consumer purchase intention. As a result, this model makes five suggested propositions to better understand the purchasing of cosmetics brands in Asia. Managerial implications are provided for improving Chinese female consumers’ purchase intentions. The cosmetics industry has made a tremendous impact in Asia since the late 1990s. Due to product innovation in the cosmetics industry, many cosmetics brands have shifted their trading practices from the regional level to international marketplaces. Female consumers have been recognised as primary target consumers due to their huge demands, which were formed by inherent societal and cultural patterns. Nixon (1992) states that cosmetics have been confined to female consumers by tradition when cosmetics consumption is examined, because there is a consideration that grooming products are a universal element of female culture (Coulter et al., 2003). Hence, investigating female consumers purchasing intentions has become an interesting subject. This chapter explores the purchasing intentions of Chinese female consumers towards cosmetics brands. It develops a conceptual framework and enables us to comprehend influencing factors in the decision-making processes and purchasing intentions of Chinese female consumers towards cosmetics purchases. In addition, the chapter explores Chinese female consumers attitudes towards cosmetics brands and their behavioural characteristics by making propositions about their purchasing behaviour in the context of such brands.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, DE Schultz

4. Social Media and Branding in Asia: Threats and Opportunities

Abstract
Social media can be separated into Western and Asian platforms. In Asia, consumers perceive, feel and behave according to their own cultural values, and these drive their attitudes within social media with significant implications for branding and brand relationships within these social media platforms. The choice between a global Western and a local Asian strategy creates potential threats and opportunities. Thus, this chapter aims at helping managers to understand the complexity surrounding branding in Asia via social media. Key critical success factors are discussed together with in-depth discussion of managerial implications for branding and Western and Asian companies’ social media strategies in Asia. In the new era of marketing communication, most studies have focused on Internetbased brand interaction, mainly within the Western literature. In general, little is known about social media and its influence on branding. Studies on understanding the mediation effect of social media on branding in Asia are rather scarce. Thus, in order to provide a greater understanding of this subject, it is necessary to consider two key factors, namely, the Asian.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

5. Exploring Factors Behind Brand Switching Amongst Youngsters in Singapore: The Case of Smartphones

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the factors behind the intention to switch smartphone brands amongst youngsters in Singapore. A focus group discussion was conducted to identify factors that affect the intentions to switch, followed by a survey among students at a private university in Singapore. Findings from the focus group discussions indicated that ‘Where I Live’ and ‘Social Circle’ emerged as factors that have not previously been discussed in the current literature. The survey findings demonstrated that ‘Intention to Switch’ is influenced by ‘Where I Live’, ‘Customer Innate Innovativeness’ and ‘Satisfaction’. As customers’ satisfaction was the most significant factor of brand switching among other variables, four antecedent variables of satisfaction were also identified. These are customer innate innovativeness, residential location, attachment and social circle. The study findings are useful to provide strategic implementation for marketers so that they are able to increase resistance of brand switching intentions among their young customers. In this technological era, mobile phones have evolved into highly sophisticated tools that allow not only global communications but also a number of other applications to make our lives easier. In particular, across all the different types of mobile phones offered in the market, the global unit demand for smartphones increased by 26 per cent in 2014, while the conventional mobile phone market decreased by 13 per cent, compared to the previous year (GFK, 2014). The high demand in the smartphone market is due to their function as consumers best personal digital assistant.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

6. Consumer-Based Chain Restaurant Brand Equity: Insights from South Korea

Abstract
Consumers in a contemporary society are increasingly exposed to restaurant brands. For brand managers, understanding the brand equity concept of restaurants, that is, the assets and liabilities linked to a brand, has emerged as an essential subject of study. This chapter reviews the literature on the concepts of brand equity and restaurant brands of South Korea. It presents the definitions of consumer-based brand equity in order to offer a better understanding of the brand equity concept by inspecting, categorising and reviewing previous research on this topic. The chapter provides contemporary knowledge about the academic models of brand equity and, as an illustrative example, it offers insights into the research trends on restaurant brand equity by reviewing the present situation of the restaurant industry in South Korea. Managerial implications and directions for future researchers are offered. Brand equity has become one of the most popular topics among brand managers (Aaker, 1991), as studies have shown that brand equity can positively influence a companys long-term and sustainable benefits (Pappu and Quester, 2006). However, despite growing interest in the topic, there has been no consensus on the concept of brand equity. In this chapter, we review the concept of Consumer-Based Brand Equity and what it consists of in terms of sub-dimensions. We draw from a range of theoretical models and offer insight into the development of the concept of consumer-based chain restaurant brand equity (CBCRBE). As an illustrative example, we explore the brand equity concept in the South Korean restaurant sector with implications for brand managers.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

7. Chinese Retailers’ Use of Brand-Consumer Communications: Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) in Wechat

Abstract
This chapter aims to analyse Chinese pure-play fashion retailers’ brand–consumer communications via a Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) application channel, and also seeks to analyse current industrial practice in the rapidly expanding mobile commerce market. The authors use Stimuli-Organism-Response (SOR) as the theoretical framework, proposing that stimuli, comprising socialness perception, media richness and involvement, induce a positive emotional state, which results in positive word of mouth (WOM). This study employs a quantitative exploratory approach using a structured questionnaire to gather data on consumers’ brand communications through the WeChat channel. The sample comprised Chinese WeChat users, and young fashion consumers (students), between ages 18 and 30 years, were recruited. A mock WeChat official account (wechat id: uomresearch) was developed to target fashion-conscious WeChat pure-play consumers. Various social mobile stimuli messages (socialness perception, involvement and media richness) were included within the mock-up of the WeChat retailer channel design. The research experiment procedure was conducted within the mock-up WeChat official account, and the questionnaire was requested to be filled out by participants after their experience of the WeChat account. Studies have researched the relationship between MIM usage, and satisfaction and loyalty (Kim et al., 2014; Wang and Liao, 2007). However, there remains a significant research gap regarding Chinese MIM, in particular the significant role MIM plays with regard to positive emotional responses and positive word of mouth for mobile consumers.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

8. Understanding Online Brand Relationships in Western Asia: The Case of Lebanon and Saudi Arabia

Abstract
Online brand relationship development in West Asia is a nascent field that brands still have not mastered. While online brand relationships are becoming a key focus point for brands, brand communities embedded in social networking sites are still underresearched in the literature due to their novelty, especially in West Asia. To that objective, this chapter focuses on bridging the gap in the literature through a qualitative study conducted in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia that explores the triggers as well as the risks that online brand communities present to brands in West Asian countries. The study identifies the main interests for consumers in joining online brand communities as well as the key negative downturns that are affecting their active participation and, to a certain extent, their relationship with brands. Managerial implications and recommendations are discussed. Until recently, the Internet was largely an informational medium. However, over the last decade the Internet has become increasingly social (Weinberg, 2009). There has never been a faster adoption of new media as is the case with social media; while Radio and TV took respectively 38 and 13 years to reach 50 million users, Facebook, a leading social networking site, added over 200 million users in less than a year (Qualman, 2010). Such significant advancement in connectivity provides excellent opportunities for brand engagement and relationships with consumers across the globe. Thus, companies are increasingly using social media as integrated marketing communications to connect and establish strong relationships with their consumers (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). Most of the Fortune 500 companies are using social media to connect with consumers who themselves are becoming reliant on the social platform to learn about brands (Naylor, Lamberton and West, 2012).
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

9. Social Benefit and Brand Commitment: The Mediating Role of Satisfaction and Brand Trust

Abstract
Important concepts exist to cultivate consumer–brand relationships; therefore, understanding these is crucial to firms’ continuing success. This chapter focuses on the dynamics between social benefit, satisfaction, brand trust and brand commitment. In doing so, it considers how brands are perceived socially and the outcomes resulting from this, here in the context of Indonesian consumers. By using structural equation modelling (SEM), 275 undergraduate students’ responses were analysed. The findings show that satisfaction has mediating roles on the link between social benefit, brand trust and brand commitment. In particular, satisfaction fully mediates the relationship between social benefit and brand trust, while it partially mediates the relationship between social benefit and brand commitment. This suggests that increasing the social benefit of the brand will not directly increase a consumer’s trust towards the brand. Brand trust needs to be built through satisfaction. In addition, the results reveal the mediating roles that brand trust plays on the link between social benefit, satisfaction and brand commitment. Particularly, brand trust partially mediates the link between social benefit and brand commitment as well as the link between satisfaction and brand commitment. Implications for brand managers are presented.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

10. Place Branding: Developing a Conceptual Framework for Place Image

Abstract
Over the past decade, researchers have observed that places and regions, including nations, compete keenly for tourists, FDIs, exports and others. This phenomenon has resulted in a new concept in marketing called ‘place branding’. Place branding uses traditional marketing and branding approaches to create a ‘place image’. However, unlike traditional branding, the creation of place image requires scholars and practitioners to delve into the domains of other social sciences such as international business, international relations, human geography and tourism studies. The fledgling domain of place branding is yet to formulate a robust theory as to the antecedents of ‘place image’. This chapter attempts to develop a conceptual framework for place branding for a region that is based on the dimensions of country-of-origin effects, tourism marketing, public diplomacy and regional identity. This framework can serve as a building block for developing an integrated theory on place branding including nation(s) and region(s). The advent of the twenty-first century has brought about a new form of competition in the market place. The traditional battle for customers wallets among business entities has amplified and geographies have started to compete among each other for trade, investment and business. Today, nations are competing with one another for tourists, foreign investments, students, exports and so on. This kind of rivalry among regional entities has resulted in the gradual development of a new stream of marketing in the form of place branding. Place branding tries to incorporate the traditional and non-traditional approaches of the marketing discipline, with a particular focus on branding strategies for promotion, development and enhancement of saleability of a particular place or region towards its prospective customers, which include tourists, investors including foreign direct investments (FDIs), students and exports.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

Introduction to Corporate Branding Perspectives in Asia

Frontmatter

11. Role of Interactive Communications in Building Brand Relationships with Business Customers

Abstract
The importance of understanding the motivations of customers is an established concept both in theory and practice. However, little research has been done on tools that can enable business customers to project their motivations to select a brand in competitive markets. Based on a review of the existing literature and qualitative insights, this chapter aims to understand the role of interactive communications in helping brand managers to understand the motivations of business customers and identify them as determinants of customer behaviour towards industrial brands. The chapter also provides some insights into the different types of understanding required by brand managers about their business customers. The findings will be relevant to both practitioners and academics, and managers can use them in drawing up strategies for driving the behaviour of their business-to-business customers. Brands that operate through competitive and complex business-to-business markets manage business customers by understanding their business agenda, emotions and motivations (Gilmour, 1999; Balakrishnan et al., 2007). Successful management of business customers in a competitive market reflects upon the efficiency of managers in developing a stronger understanding of customer behaviour compared to competitors (Gummesson, 1994; Ryals and Payne, 2001). In order to attract business customers in highly competitive markets, brands try to add extra value to what they are offering these customers, who in turn serve their consumers (Doyle, 2000; Kumar et al., 2000). An understanding of business customer behaviour guides managers to develop strategies that can add extra value to their product or service (Lovelock, 1983; Peppard, 2000). To be able to contribute additional value to basic offers, brand managers require complex information about the emotional and rational requirements of business customers (Narver and Slater, 1990).
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

12. Employee Brand Support, Transformational Leadership and Brand-Centred Training of Academic Staff in Business Schools

Abstract
The chapter provides an in-depth investigation of how internal branding activities affect academic staff behaviour and explores the possible relationships between employee brand support and transformational leadership characteristics on underlying internal branding activities. Employing a qualitative research methodology, the authors interviewed nineteen lecturers from eight business schools in Thailand. Findings demonstrate the vital roles of training and development activities in providing rules and guidelines to encourage employees’ brand support behaviour. The study advances current understanding of the generative process and mechanism by which employee brand support is formed. By examining the proposed relationships between employee brand support and the factors of internal branding and transformational leadership (as determinant factors of employee brand support) in the non-Western context, the research contributes to theory testing and generalisation.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

13. Corporate Sports Sponsorship: Exploring the Roles of Consumer Perception, Consumer Response and Sponsors– Brand Reputation - Evidence from Malaysia

Abstract
Corporate organisations view sponsorships, particularly in sporting events, as increasingly important in marketing, branding and reputation building. This chapter explores: (1) the relationship between a multidimensional measure of consumer perception of sports sponsorship, (2) consumers’ responses towards sponsorships, and (3) the reputation of sponsors among Malaysian consumers. A survey was undertaken to assess the general view of sponsorships from local sponsorship audiences. Findings revealed that the general attitude towards sponsors and perceived sincerity of the sponsor were important factors for reputation building by corporations that use sponsorship arrangements. The study demonstrates that consumer response towards a sponsorship mediates and further improves the effect of consumer perceptions of sponsors’ brand reputation. Implications exist for brand management of sponsorships in Malaysia.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

14. The Influence of Social Practices in Brand Communities on University Branding: Evidence from Vietnam

Abstract
A brand community is an important intangible asset concept that enables an organisation to develop its brand. As a collective of stakeholders based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of one brand, a brand community acts as a conduit of information, education and socialisation that binds community and brand together. Combining social practice with brand community theory, this chapter examines the practices of brand communities structured around communities’ themes of social networking, impression management, community engagement and brand use (Schau et al., 2009). We situate these practices in the research setting of a large public university in Vietnam and their purported effects as a result of their attachment to the institution. The study finds that welding and integrating the collective activities of these communities could reinforce the university brand. Theoretical and managerial implications are offered, with specific suggestions for building and nurturing brand communities, which will benefit the university brand.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

15. Revisiting the Relationships Between Brand Performance, Brand Image and Customer Loyalty: Findings from the Air Compressor Industry in Malaysia

Abstract
This chapter revisits the relationship between brand performance and customer loyalty and develops an understanding of the mediating effect of brand image between delivery performance, word of mouth, product price, product reliability and relationship quality on customer loyalty in an industrial market, particularly in the portable air compressor market in Malaysia. The findings indicate that brand image is a full mediator between delivery performance and customer loyalty but is only a partial mediator between product price and word of mouth and customer loyalty. These results suggest that in industrial markets, companies with positive product attributes and positive brand image are able to strengthen customer loyalty, specifically with product attributes such as delivery performance, price and word of mouth influencing customers’ loyalty through their perception of brand image.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

Introduction to the Case Study Section

Frontmatter

16. The Rise of an Emerging Brand in the Mobile Landscape: A Case Study of Samsung Galaxy

Abstract
This chapter examines how an emerging Asian brand has evolved in a dynamic market. As the full-touch smartphone market underwent market disruptions with respect to technology and consumers, the rise of Samsung Galaxy as a late entrant materialised. The reason for Samsung Galaxy’s success can be found in its innovation competence, which is rooted in the company’s market orientation and innovation strategy. Since the mobile manufacturing industry is knowledge intensive, their strategy was based on harvesting knowledge, with respect to technology, consumer, competitor and market. Against this backdrop, this case study aims to shed light on how a brand from a developing country has evolved successfully from a market follower to a market leader in a dynamic market landscape.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

17. Understanding Consumers’ Brands Experience in Japan: A Case Study of Lexus

Abstract
In recent years, the concept of brand experience has attracted much attention in marketing practice. Brand managers have come to realise that consumers should not only be regarded as targets for products but also creators of experiences, and that understanding consumers’ brand experiences is important for them to develop effective brand strategies. The construct of brand experience is holistic in nature and involves consumers’ cognitive, affective, emotional and physical responses to a particular brand. With the example of Japan’s legend, Lexus’ success in sustaining profitable growth by providing the best customer experience, this chapter aims to critically evaluate the definition and processes of brand experience management. Furthermore, it illustrates two critical elements of customers’ brand experience: experiential attributes resulting in satisfaction and loyalty, and the co-creation of brand value proposition. Finally, customer experience management is also approached from a strategic perspective for Japanese brand managers.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

18. Branding, Innovation and Technology: A Case Study of Nestlé and ALW in India

Abstract
Branding as a concept has been understood as marketing experience that can be strongly linked with consumer behaviour and that of industrial or business-to-business customers. The notion of branding has, however, not been considered from the viewpoint of a market that is different, unknown, economically weaker and generally recognised as a base of the pyramid (BOP) segment. Being a segment with lower paying capacity does not deter consumers in this segment from buying branded products. The approach used by brand managers to serve this segment with similar quality but lower quantity and different packaging has been noted. But the use of innovative business ideas and practices to create a supply chain that will address the needs of this segment with branded products has not been reflected upon. The role of technology that has also helped practitioners to create market penetration strategies for their brand specifically for this segment needs to be reviewed.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

19. A Case Study of the Successful Branding Story of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University: A Holistic Marketing Perspective

Abstract
This chapter tells the successful branding story of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). It deconstructs the branding efforts of an eight-year-old Sino-UK cooperative university from the perspective of holistic marketing. Three best practices of university branding are distilled: (1) a student-centred education philosophy guides university marketing programmes and activities; (2) a service-oriented culture permeates through university structures and processes; (3) a visionary leader evangelises both inside and outside university environments. Implications for holistic marketing theory and international university branding are discussed. As colleges and universities worldwide face enormous challenges of declining enrolment, diminishing governmental funding, increasing competition and marketisation of higher education (Williams and Omar, 2014), they have begun to recognise the importance of building a strong, favourable and unique brand image and reputation to counteract competitive pressures resulting from higher education marketisation (Hemsley-Brown and Goonawardana, 2007; Molesworth, Nixon and Scullion, 2009; Williams, Osei and Omar, 2012), and internationalisation (Gomes and Murphy, 2003; Russell, 2005; Shah and Laino, 2006).
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz

20. Conclusion to Asia Branding: Connecting Brands, Consumers and Companies

Abstract
While branding in Asia has gained increased interest, many books on consumer and corporate branding in Asia are dated and do not present a strong approach in terms of methodology and empirical findings. There are no current or previous books that cover all of the topics covered in this book in one place. Therefore, we decided to take the work on Asia branding forward by pulling together original and recent works on branding and management strategies. Asia Branding: Connecting Brands, Consumers and Companies aims to serve as a supplementary text and a key resource for advanced students and academics. The quality of the chapters is consistently high because of the qualifications and track record of selected authors. The book has a balance of theoretical and empirical studies that will appeal to an international audience. The organisation of the book’s sections is structured for the individual seeking to grasp the realities and peculiarities of a particular level of branding in the Asian continent. The first part of the book discussed branding in Asia from a consumer-based perspective. The second part focused on the emerging corporate branding perspective. The third part included case studies, which showcased important lessons for branding managers in Asia. On the whole, the book provided a diversified presentation of branding in Asia and, where applicable, offered coverage of theoretical and practical implications for students interested in branding in Asian markets.
Bang Nguyen, T C Melewar, Don E. Schultz
Additional information