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The Japan brand personality in China: is it all negative among consumers?

José I. Rojas-Méndez (), Dhanachitra Kannan () and Lorena Ruci ()
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José I. Rojas-Méndez: Carleton University
Dhanachitra Kannan: Carleton University
Lorena Ruci: Carleton University

Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 2019, vol. 15, issue 2, 109-123

Abstract: Abstract This study measured the Japan brand personality in China. The main purposes are first, to identify the Nation Brand Personality (NBP) dimensions of Japan as seen by Chinese consumers; second, to determine the effect of NBP upon overall attitude and behavioral intentions; third, to test the predictive effects of the overall attitude and demographic variables upon behavioral intentions; and fourth, to cluster Chinese consumers and determine who among them can be commercially targeted by Japanese entities. The study was conducted in Shanghai, China, via a paper survey in the Chinese language. A convenience sample of Chinese respondents was used. The nation brand personality, overall attitude, and the behavioral intentions scales were used. Path analysis is employed to test the hypotheses. Finally, cluster analysis is used to determine the Chinese citizens segments in terms of their views of Japan as a brand. Japan brand personality has two positive factors—competence and sincerity—and one negative factor—assertiveness. As expected, the positive (negative) factors positively (negatively) influence attitude and behavioral intentions. Age is a negative predictor of behavioral intentions. Besides, age and gender moderate the relationship between NBP and behavioral intentions. More specifically, the relationship between NBP and intentions to behave is stronger for the younger individuals and women. The Chinese sample was classified into four clusters: admirers, sympathizers, skeptics, and rivals. Nation brand personality is culture specific, and therefore this paper contributes by identifying the specific brand personality of Japan among Chinese citizens, and then uses such a personality to predict both overall attitude and intentions to behave. The identification of the factors and facets of Japan brand personality in China contributes in understanding why Chinese citizens’ overall attitude towards Japan is unfavorable. This paper also focuses on how NBP explains attitude formation and intentions to behave.

Keywords: Nation (country) brand personality; Personality traits; Cluster analysis; Attitude; Behavioral intentions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1057/s41254-019-00118-6

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