The role of brand image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-34
Journal / PublicationJournal of Product and Brand Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


Purpose: This study aims to examine the role of functional and symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preferences in the auto market, and the role of brand familiarity in moderating the relationship between brand image congruity and consumers' preferences. Design/methodology/approach: A one-on-one survey was administered to 1,440 consumers by market research specialists on two popular auto brands in China. Findings: While confirming existing findings concerning functional image congruity, the results revealed that symbolic image congruity had a negative impact on Chinese consumers' brand preference when a brand's perceived symbolic image is higher than consumers' ideal expectations (i.e. upward incongruity), and brand familiarity does not moderate the role of symbolic image congruity in Chinese consumers' brand preference. Originality/value: The paper's findings could help managers to improve their brand management and enhance consumer satisfaction. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • Auto market, Brand image, Brand management, Brand preference, China, Symbolic and functional congruity