Pulling the White Rabbit Out of the Hat: Consuming Brands in Imperial China

Giana Eckhardt, Suffolk University, USA
Anders Bengtsson, Suffolk University, USA
We trace branding in China from the Song Dynasty (960-1127) to contemporary times. In many cases brands were developed by consumers or the government, instead of or in addition to the seller. This demonstrates a consumer initiated branding system that developed independently of brand management initiatives. The contention that multiple stakeholders define the brand in the marketplace challenges the conceptualization of brand management as a manager centered activity. Rather than assuming that managers define brands through marketing communication, the co-creative nature of brand development suggests that brands evolve in co-operative circles where successful brands align themselves with the consumers they seek to establish relationships with.
[ to cite ]:
Giana Eckhardt and Anders Bengtsson (2007) ,"Pulling the White Rabbit Out of the Hat: Consuming Brands in Imperial China", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 128-128.