The role of brand equity and face saving in Chinese luxury consumption

Noel Y M SIU*, Ho Yan KWAN, Celeste Yunru Zeng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the impact of brand equity on Chinese consumers’ affective attitudes toward luxury brands and their behavioral intentions by applying the cognitive-affective model. The interaction effect between face saving and consumer’s affective attitude on luxury consumption is also examined. Design/methodology/approach: A field survey was conducted using a sample of 248 luxury consumers in three Chinese cities. Findings: Brand equity was found positively to predict Chinese consumers’ affective attitudes and their willingness to pay a premium price for a luxury brand. Moreover, consumers who highly value face saving were found to be more willing to pay a premium price, even though they hold a less positive attitude toward the brand. Research limitations/implications: The use of cross-sectional survey data with young Chinese consumers in first-tier cities may limit the generalizability of the findings as well as precluding the making of causal inferences. Practical implications: Global luxury marketers who plan to enter the China market can utilize marketing strategies to create prestigious value and appeal to consumers who seek for social approval and status. Originality/value: Previous published studies of brand equity and luxury consumption have primarily emphasized Western markets. These findings advance our understanding of luxury purchase intention among young Chinese consumers, for whom the need for social acceptance acts as a crucial motivator in luxury consumption. The results contribute to amplifying the brand equity concept by taking cultural context into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Affective attitude
  • Brand equity
  • China
  • Cultural values
  • Face saving
  • Luxury


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