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The implications of digital marketing on WeChat for luxury fashion brands in China

Sindy Liu (), Patsy Perry () and Gregory Gadzinski ()
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Sindy Liu: The University of Manchester
Patsy Perry: The University of Manchester
Gregory Gadzinski: INSEEC Research Center, International University of Monaco

Journal of Brand Management, 2019, vol. 26, issue 4, 395-409

Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the use of e-commerce and social media marketing within brand marketing in international luxury fashion retailers in China, focusing on their use of Chinese social media app WeChat for marketing communications and sales. A multiple case study of 15 international luxury fashion brands active on e-commerce platforms in China was conducted in 2015. Qualitative data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with senior managers in the retailers’ Chinese head offices and their VIP clients, combined with observation of the brands’ WeChat accounts. Contrary to previously held beliefs that e-commerce erodes the fragile perception of luxury brands’ exclusiveness, our findings suggest that concerns over exclusivity due to social media overexposure are irrelevant for the Chinese market, and product exclusivity remains the prominent element in protecting brand exclusivity. WeChat is significantly different in its functionality and use from Western social media and has particular advantages over other social media for luxury consumers and brand managers within China and beyond. Finally, the paper presents a conceptual framework for managing luxury brand marketing in China in the digital era.

Keywords: Luxury; China; Branding; Omnichannel; Social media; WeChat (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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