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Title: A comparison of Chinese corporate brand slogans in two periods: before and after China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). A content analysis on Chinese national culture values and advertising appeals
Other Titles: A comparison of Chinese corporate brand slogans in two periods: before and after China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Authors: Wang, Wenwen
Advisors: Alwi, S
Yongge, N
Keywords: Rational appeals and emotional appeals;Food industry;B2C food companies;Word count of corporate brand slogans;PDI, IDV, MAS and UAI
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Introduction: This study examined the changes to Chinese corporate brand slogans (CBS) from when the reform and opening-up policy was implemented in 1978 until 2019; China joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) was used as a time node, and the surrounding 42 years were divided into two periods to examine the changes to national cultural values (NCV) and advertising appeal characteristics. The changes to Chinese brand slogans include the display time, the number of updates, slogan word count, advertising appeal strategy and the cultural values reflected in advertising slogans. Methodology: The study examined samples taken in March 2020 from business to consumer (B2C) food companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges in mainland China; 81 companies were selected. Independent of each other, two master's graduate students and I collected corporate brand slogans used by the 81 companies from 1 January 1978 to 31 December 2019. The collection paths were official company websites, media, news reports, China HowNet and other public sources. Using the collected slogans, the two students and I each independently used 30 advertising appeals as coding standards to encode the slogans. Advertising appeals identified by Albers-Millers and Gelb (1996) were strongly related to the four cultural dimensions defined by Hofstede (1980). After two rounds of coding, we obtained highly reliable data. As a content analysis, this study xamined the duration of corporate brand slogans, the number of updates and the word count before and after China joined the WTO. Then, we calculated the mean value and standard deviation of each advertising appeal and value dimension in the two periods and conducted an independent samples t-test. Results: It was found that the average number of corporate brand slogans used by companies in the second period (after China joined the WTO) is significantly higher than the first. In the first, the corporate brand slogan duration was significantly longer than that in the second. In addition, the average number of words in a slogan was approximately nine, with the average number in the second period slightly fewer than that in the first. After China joined the WTO, the Hofstede individualism and high power distance scores for corporate brand slogans were significantly higher than those from before; however, before China joined, their Hofstede femininity score was significantly lower. Furthermore, the collectivism, low power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity score changes were insignificant. Conclusion: First, enterprises should update their brands' slogans appropriately and adjust their strategic business units to adapt to a changing external environment. The average length of time a slogan should be used is six years, after which a new one needs to be introduced. Second, the word count of corporate brand slogans should not be too many or too few. In general, 9 to 10 words, including punctuation, are optimal in the Chinese language. Third, abide by the principle of company or brand differentiation and positioning, highlighting that the brand is unique and distinctive to other brands in the same category. Individualism is more important than collectivism in the advertising appeal of the same slogan. However, when renewing a brand, the proportion of collectivism in the advertising appeal should not be reduced, but the distinctive appeal can be increased appropriately. Fourth, companies should use advertising appeals with high power distance rather than low power distance. Moreover, when updating a slogan, the status appeal should be increased appropriately, but the proportion of a slogan that appeals to low power distance should remain the same. Fifth, companies should use more high rather than low uncertainty avoidance advertising appeals; this should be maintained when updating a brand slogan. When updating a brand slogan, the proportion of advertising appeals of high and low uncertainty avoidance should remain unchanged. Sixth, a brand slogan should emphasise masculinity rather than femininity and adhere to this principle when renewing the slogan. Furthermore, when renewing a brand, femininity can be reduced appropriately and advertising modesty appeals can be much reduced. However, the proportion of advertising appeals to masculinity in a single slogan should remain the same. Originality: First, this study found that Chinese and international enterprises operating in the Chinese market should update their brand slogan according to the changes in the external environment and their strategic business units. Second, this study found the average word count of a corporate brand slogan. Third, the design of corporate brand slogans should follow the national cultural value and advertising appeal principles of the time. Fourth, when updating a corporate brand slogan, national cultural value and advertising demand principles should be followed.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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