Title: Changing consumer markets and marketing in China

Authors: Sha Zhang; Jenny Van Doorn; Peter. S.H. Leeflang

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Nettelbosje 2, 9747 AE Groningen, The Netherlands; School of Management, Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Room 103, Building #7, No. 80 Zhongguancun East Road, Beijing, 100190, China. ' Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Nettelbosje 2, 9747 AE Groningen, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Nettelbosje 2, 9747 AE Groningen, The Netherlands

Abstract: China's enormous population and rapidly increasing consumer spending are attractive to many multinational corporations (MNCs) to supply products to the Chinese markets. Yet MNCs continue to struggle to find ways to serve this diverse and culturally unique market. This article reviews and integrates existing knowledge on Chinese consumers' responses to marketing efforts, and specifies and empirically tests several propositions. Chinese consumers are found to have higher brand consciousness, brand loyalty, lower price sensitivity for visible goods, and to be less responsive to sales promotions compared to Western consumers. We also find indications that the influence of face considerations (i.e., prestige earned in a social network) cause Chinese consumers to have higher emphasis on prestige in their channel choices and advertisement evaluations than Western consumers. By outlining these implications, our study can help MNCs better understand how Chinese consumers behave and that understanding can help MNCs adapt their marketing efforts.

Keywords: Chinese consumers; consumer markets; marketing mix; price sensitivity; private labels; advertising; sales promotions; marketing channels; emerging markets; China; multinational corporations; MNCs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEM.2012.049825

International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets, 2012 Vol.4 No.4, pp.328 - 351

Available online: 16 Oct 2012 *

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