The influence of face and group orientation on the perception of luxury goods: a four market study of East Asian consumers

Lien Le Monkhouse, Bradley R. Barnes, Ute Stephan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The paper aims to further extend our understanding by assessing the extent to which two prominent cultural values in East Asia i.e. face saving and group orientation drive consumers' perceptions of luxury goods across four East Asian markets. Design/methodology/approach: A multi-methods research approach was adopted consisting of: an expert panel of close to 70 participants, group discussions with five extended East Asian families, personal interviews with eight East Asian scholars, a pilot test with over 50 East Asian graduate students and a multi-market survey of 443 consumer respondents in Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore and Hanoi. Findings: The authors extend previous conceptual studies by empirically investigating the impact of these two cultural values on the perception of luxury among East Asian societies. Specifically the study reveals that across all four markets face saving has the strongest influence on the conspicuous and hedonistic dimensions of luxury, group orientation meanwhile is the strongest predictor of the quality, extended self and exclusivity dimensions of luxury. Collectively these two cultural values significantly influence East Asian perceptions of luxury. Overall, the findings reiterate the importance of understanding different cultural values and their influence across different East Asian societies. Practical implications: The findings have important implications for managers of western luxury branded goods that are seeking to penetrate East Asian markets or seek to serve East Asian consumers. Specifically, to assist with developing suitable brand positioning, products, services, communications and pricing strategies. Originality/value: This study contributes to our understanding of the subject by exploring the impact of face saving and group orientation on the perception of luxury goods across four East Asian countries. Several directions for future research are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-672
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012


  • brands
  • China
  • consumer behaviour
  • culture
  • East
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Southeast Asia
  • Vietnam


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