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Consumer-brand relationship in the context of Chinese culture: A theoretical construct and empirical study


Using the theory of indigenous interpersonal relationship and the metaphor of the brand-as-relationship-partner (BARP), this paper develops a theoretical construct of consumer-brand relationship in the Chinese context and proposes a brand relationship framework that consists of four basic types, namely “family member”, “good friend”, “cooperation partner”, and “acquaintance”. This paper also reports the findings of two studies that test the acceptability of the theoretical construct. Study 1 proves that the relationship metaphor is suitable for the appraisal of consumer-brand relationship in the Chinese context. Study 2 confirms that the brand relationship types and brand relationship quality have satisfactory concurrent validity.


借用本土人际关系理论对中国消费者—品牌关系进行了理论建构, 认为存在四种基本的品牌关系类型: “家人关系”、“好朋友关系”、 “合作伙伴关系” 和“熟人关系”, 这四种类型可以揭示并描述品牌关系的差异。 通过两个研究验证了理论建构的合理性: 研究1初步证明了本土人际关系隐喻适用于中国消费者—品牌关系的情境: 研究2进一步证明了品牌关系类型与品牌关系质量具有良好的同时效度。


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Correspondence to Jiaxun He.

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Translated and revised from Yingxiao Kexue Xuebao 营销科学学报 (Journal of Marketing Science), 2007, 3(3): 1–12

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About this article


  • consumer-brand relationship
  • brand relationship types
  • brand relationship quality
  • indigenous perspective


  • 消费者-品牌关系
  • 品牌关系类型
  • 品牌关系质量
  • 本土化研究