Applications of Cultural Analysis in Marketing in a Mainland Chinese Context

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för etnologi

Abstract: Although China is changing rapidly, Chinese values and culture change much slower than economic statistics. Simultaneously, interests in culture have grown dramatically in marketing study and practice worldwide, however culture is by and large the least investigated part in terms of marketing in mainland China. Therefore, how can cultural analysis be employed for marketing to map and understand the Chinese young adults? And what contributions can it make to marketing in mainland China? Through investigation of two cases targeting Chinese youth, this thesis aims to provide insights into applying cultural analysis in the Chinese context. Hence the distinguishing contributions that cultural analysis can make to marketing become evident. The first case, Branding Green Copenhagen in mainland China will present the practice of analyzing culture and reflections on transnational marketing. The second case, investigation of China Youthology will illustrate an application of cultural analysis which reflects the indigenous marketing. Drawing from the analyses of two cases, along with interviews of four experienced cultural analysis practitioners, this thesis will discuss ethnography as the core research method and distinguishing contributions of cultural analysis. Cultural analysis provides a thick description through the investigation of a nuanced and detailed culturally constructed world, as well as, individual actions. It serves to attain a cross-cultural understanding at both the transnational and intra-national level. As a result, cultural analysts can make contributions to marketing using various skills, such as: data organization and qualitative research, ability to uncover the cultural meaning in context, and the flexibility to revise ideas as new meanings emerge. With some adjustments to Chinese context, cultural analysis will play an important role in mapping and revealing the meaning of culture for the practice of marketing in the mainland Chinese context.

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