This exploratory study by a team including Dr Xuemei Bian of Kent Business School examines Chinese consumers’ perceptions of authenticity. Extended interviews reveal that Chinese consumers do not evaluate products based on a perceived binary relationship between authentic and inauthentic products. The results suggest, instead, Chinese consumers view authenticity evaluation as relational and hierarchical rather than original and unique. Two additional authenticity types emerge—domesticated and mimicked. The findings help marketing practitioners create new consumer segments based on the authenticity levels of product offerings and simultaneously help preserve brand equity and long-term relationships with consumers.
This research was published online by the Journal of Business Research in June 2014.