2008-2009 SOAR Student
Title: Stories From Beijing: An Archetypal Analysis of Chinese Consumers
Student: Xiuzhu Lin
Faculty advisor: Dr. Gary Kaskowitz
My project is focused on the studies of archetypes that exist in the Chinese market, as compared to those of the American market. Western companies have long been using archetypes to for branding purposes. The archetypes I studied are from a book called “The Hero and the Outlaw”, which introduces the twelve different kinds of archetypes that are deeply embedded in the branding techniques of many western companies. Many western archetypes originated from folklore stories that have a well-known character, therefore, I spent part of my research reading Chinese folklore stories and extracting similar archetypes. The second part of my research was done in Beijing, where I conducted in-person interviews and surveyed Chinese consumers, on their impressions of the roles of archetypes when it comes to purchasing decisions towards certain brands. To make the comparisons more visible, I focused on Chinese consumers’ perceptions and general attitudes towards two well-known western brands: Adidas and Starbucks. To probe deeper into their perceptions in order to lead to original archetypes, I used the laddering technique when surveying consumers to generate progressive responses. To support my studies, I also observed and photographed advertising campaigns around Beijing.