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Brand Meanings in the Context of Luxury Fashion: A Projective Study in China

In: Empirical Studies on Economics of Innovation, Public Economics and Management

Author

Listed:
  • Sonja Lahtinen

    (University of Tampere)

  • Pekka Tuominen

    (University of Tampere)

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze brand meanings in the context of luxury fashion among young Chinese women. The theoretical framework for this study is built from two streams of literature. The first part elucidates the concept of luxury and further introduces the three dimensions of luxury brands based on previous research: the functional, the experiential and the symbolic. In the second part semiotics is applied to explain the structure of brand meanings, and the model of interactive transfer among three elements—the culture, the brand and the individual—is introduced to demonstrate how these brand meanings are co-created in the marketplace. The qualitative data was generated through the projective Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (later ZMET) in China. Based on the various and heterogeneous brand meanings that respondents associated with luxury fashion brands, eight meaning orientations were formed, which organize respondents’ beliefs and emotions towards the luxury fashion brands. The interpretive repertoire of Chinese respondents extends the meanings far beyond the ones that brands have created by themselves and those that have been recognized by prior research. This shows considerable sophistication and dedication from the consumers in the interpretation and co-creation of brand meanings. The findings may assist brand managers in developing global brand strategies that are sensitive to local differences and focus on creating personally meaningful brand experiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonja Lahtinen & Pekka Tuominen, 2017. "Brand Meanings in the Context of Luxury Fashion: A Projective Study in China," Eurasian Studies in Business and Economics, in: Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin & Hakan Danis & Ender Demir & Ugur Can (ed.), Empirical Studies on Economics of Innovation, Public Economics and Management, pages 193-209, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eurchp:978-3-319-50164-2_11
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-50164-2_11
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