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Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2011-05-31.

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024339/00001

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Title: Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2011-05-31.
Physical Description: Book
Language: english
Creator: Lin, En-Ying
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Statement of Responsibility: by En-Ying Lin.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Roberts, Marilyn.
Electronic Access: INACCESSIBLE UNTIL 2011-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024339:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024339/00001

Material Information

Title: Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2011-05-31.
Physical Description: Book
Language: english
Creator: Lin, En-Ying
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Statement of Responsibility: by En-Ying Lin.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Roberts, Marilyn.
Electronic Access: INACCESSIBLE UNTIL 2011-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024339:00001


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1 LUXURY BRAND WEBSITES CONTENT ANALYSIS OF CHINESE AND ENGLISH LANGUAGES: THE EXPLORATIONS OF AUTHENTICITY, COUNTRYOF ORIGIN, AND PRODUCT CATEGORY By EN YING LIN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009

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2 2009 EnYing Lin

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3 To my dearest parents, husband and son

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Fi rst of all, I give my heartfelt appreciation to my dear parents for their endless love, support, and encouragement throughout my life. I am blessed to have parents like them, and I cannot believe how lucky I am to have them. Whenever I need them, they ar e always there, giving me the warmest hugs. They encourage me to believe in myself, and in my dreams. Their love has meant more than words can express. I dedicate this study especially to them. I would like to express my extreme thanks to my husband for his love and understanding. When I was chained to my desk writing the dissertation aroundthe clock, he took care of Samuel, our beloved son, and did the house chores We have experienced quite a lot this year, having Samuel in busiest year before graduation, but we still made it. Praise the Lord! Praise Him that we can pursue our doctoral degree s simultaneously in the same university we can experience Christs sufficient grace, and we still continue our mutual encouragement and growth in the Lord Jesus May the Lord and His W ord dwell in us richly throughout our life I love you so much, my little Samuel. Thank you for accompanying me through the qualifying exams while you were still in my tummy; thank you for being moms happy boy, smiling at me whene ver I am depressed; thank you for being a good boy, cooperating with mommy all the time; thank you for giving us a throughthe night sleep since your eighth week, so dad and I can have energy to do our schoolwork. Be that happy boy all the days of your lif e. Be Gods Samuel to turn the age and welcome His second coming. Dr. Marilyn Roberts, my dear mentor, advisor and committee chair, has my profound appreciation for her guidance and patience throughout my masters and doctoral study. Her continued support and insights made this task much easier. We Chinese have an old saying: Once a teacher, always a father. During these five years, you were like my mother. You saw my growth from a girl to a woman, a woman to a mother. Thank you for what you have written

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5 in my life book. Thank you for what you have given me in my life journey. I will keep the treasure gifts in my heart, and keep them fresh. I will remember what you taught me, and will make you proud of me one day! I wish you every blessing in the future. I will remember you not only in my mind but also in my prayers. I would like to extend sincere thanks to Dr. Jorge Villegas for his timely help, endless support and encouragement throughout the five years It is always been a pleasure to have his class and discuss with him. I also appreciate my other committee members Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda and Dr. Richard Lutz. I was fortunate to have their guidance and insights. I would give special thanks to Dr. Molleda for his contribution of the authenticity index i n this study and to Dr. Lutz for his specialty in statistics guidance. Thank you for teaching me to see the forest not the trees. Without their instruction, my dissertation would never be complete. I thank all of what you have done for me

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6 TABLE OF CONT ENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................8 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................................10 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................................11 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................13 Importance and Purpose of Study ...........................................................................................14 Outline ....................................................................................................................................15 2. LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................................17 What Is Luxury? .....................................................................................................................17 The Difference between Luxury and Expensive Products .....................................................18 Defining Luxury Branding .....................................................................................................18 Online Br anding ......................................................................................................................20 Current Situation of Luxury Brands Online ...........................................................................22 Standardization and Adaptation ..............................................................................................24 Product Category ....................................................................................................................26 Imagery of Country of Origin (COO) .....................................................................................27 Cultural Viewpoints of Luxury Branding ...............................................................................29 Authenticity ............................................................................................................................33 3. METHODOLOGY .................................................................................................................42 Defining Content Analysis .....................................................................................................42 Unique Issues Associated with Content Analysis of Websites ..............................................43 The Constant Change in the Content of Websites ...........................................................44 Selecting Proper Unit of Analysis ...................................................................................44 Coding Online/ Offline ....................................................................................................44 Different Programs an d Browsers/ Coders Experiences and Skills ...............................45 Reliability in Content Analysis ...............................................................................................45 Validity in Content Analysis ..................................................................................................47 Unit of Analysis and Sample Frame .......................................................................................49 Current Content Analysis Study Procedure ............................................................................51 4. FINDINGS ..............................................................................................................................55 Descriptive Data Analysis ......................................................................................................55

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7 Hypotheses and Research Questions ......................................................................................56 Standardization vs. Adaptation ........................................................................................56 Product Category and Website Characteristics ...............................................................57 Website Standardization, Product Category and Countryof Origin ..............................59 Countryof Origin ............................................................................................................62 Cultural Viewpoints .........................................................................................................63 Authenticity .....................................................................................................................64 Authenticity and Cultural Dimensions ............................................................................65 Natural authenticity ..................................................................................................66 Original authenticity .................................................................................................66 Exceptional authenticity ...........................................................................................68 Referential authenticity ............................................................................................69 Influential authenticity .............................................................................................70 The seven elements for building the image of authenticity .....................................72 Three forms of authenticity ......................................................................................73 Luxury brands authenticity index .............................................................................74 5. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ..................................................................................104 Discussions of Research Findings ........................................................................................104 Descriptive Results ........................................................................................................104 Discussion of Hypotheses and Research Questions ......................................................105 Standardization versus adaptation ..........................................................................105 Product category and countryof origin .................................................................105 Cultural viewpoints ................................................................................................106 Authenticity ............................................................................................................107 Conclusions ...........................................................................................................................111 Managerial Implications .......................................................................................................113 Limitations and Future Research Possibilities ......................................................................114 APPENDIX A. SAMPLES 53 LUXURY BRANDS ....................................................................................116 B. CODE BOOK .......................................................................................................................118 C. CODE SHEET ......................................................................................................................138 LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................145 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................153

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 21 Authenticity Overview ...........................................................................................................40 41 Website Characteristics ..........................................................................................................77 43 Adapted Luxury Brands Website Mean Scores ....................................................................81 44 Website Characteristics by Product Category ........................................................................82 45 ANOVA and Post Hoc Results of Standardization, Product Category, and Countryof Origin .................................................................................................................................83 46 MANOVA Results of Standardization and Product Category I .............................................84 47 MANOVA Results of Standardization and Product Category II ...........................................85 48 MANOVA Results of Standardization and Product Category III ..........................................86 49 MANOVA Results of Website Standardization and CountryOf Origin I ............................87 411 MANOVA Results of Website Standardization and CountryOf Origin III ........................89 412 MANOVA Results of Interaction (pc*coo) ..........................................................................90 416 Natural Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints .......................................................................93 417 Original Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints .....................................................................94 418 Original Authenticity by High and Low Context --Stress Your Firsts ...............................94 419 Original Authenticity by High and Low Context --Look Old ............................................95 420 Exceptional Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints ................................................................95 422 Referential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints .................................................................96 423 Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints ..................................................................96 424 Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints --Personal Aspiration .............................97 425 Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints --Collective Aspiration and Embrace Art ......................................................................................................................................98 426 Influential Authentic ity by Cultural Viewpoints --Promote a Cause ..................................99 427 Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints --Give Meaning ....................................100

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9 428 Authenticity Seven Elements T test ...................................................................................100 429 Authenticity Three Forms by Languages ...........................................................................101 430 Five Genres of Authenticity Scores Comparison ...............................................................102 431 Authenticity Index T test ....................................................................................................102 432 Authenticity Index in Different Product Category .............................................................102 433 Authenticity Index in Different Countryof Origin ............................................................102 434 ANOVA and Post Hoc Results of Authenticity Index, Product Category and Countryof Origin ..........................................................................................................................103 A 1 Samples 53 Luxury Brands ..................................................................................................116

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10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 21 Integrated Model of Authenticity. ..........................................................................................41

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy LUXURY BRAND WEBSITES CONTENT ANALYSIS OF CHINESE AND ENGLISH LANGUAGES: THE EXPLORATIONS OF AUTHENTICITY, COUNTRYOF ORIGIN, AND PRODUCT CATEGORY. By En Ying Lin May 2009 Chair: Marilyn S. Roberts Major: Mass Communication Despite economic downturns in t he Pacific Rim in the 1990s, the most prominent region demonstrating the luxury trends is referred to as Greater China, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. LVMH estimates that as early as 2009, Chinese customers will be the number one purchasers of luxury goods in the world (Socha, 2005, p.2). The relevant importance of luxury branding in Greater China has not received a great deal of academic attention. Recently, luxury brands have established websites to directly communicate with current and potential consumers. Online marketing for luxury goods also is beginning to have a significant impact. To fill the gap in the literature, the current study explores luxury brand websites in Chinese and English language in terms of website characteristi cs, standardization versus adaptation, product category, countryof origin, cultural viewpoints and authenticity. A total number of 53 luxury brands are chosen because they are referred to in most academic papers on luxury. The findings suggest that only nine out of the sample websites have e retailing. Email is the most common twoway communication for luxury brands. Chinese language counterparts in English with Chinese luxury brand websites are highly standardized with the English language

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12 counterparts. T here were only eight adapted luxury brand websites, predominately in the automobile product category, whose countryof origin was German. T he extent of luxury brand websites standardization varies by different product category and countryof origin. Great er COO image is used in English with Chinese language luxury brand websites than in English without Chinese ones. Cultural factors do not play an important role in luxury online branding. Cultural dimensions do have statistical significant associations wi th authenticity. The construction of an authenticity index is the exclusive contribution of the current study. While luxury brands natural authenticity is the lowest scored, exceptional authenticity is scored highest. As the authenticity scores vary with different product category and countryof origin, it was found to be equally distributed on English with Chinese and English without Chinese luxury brands websites.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Luxury brands have been referred to as the great pretenders (C atry, 2003) and have been organized as a dream formula to flourish in the global marketplace (Dubois and Paternault, 1995). According to Nueno and Quelch (1998), the luxury market has experienced resurgence with a 10% annual sales growth per year since 1 995, and the appeal of luxury brands has become global in scope (p.61). The Best Global Brands Report ( BusinessWeek, 2006) indicated that 11 luxury brands ranked among the 100 top global brands, when compared with the same report conducted in 2003, only 8 luxury brands were included. The sales figure of the luxury industry displayed an increase in profits and showed astonishing brand value (Danziger, 2005). Despite economic downturns in the Pacific Rim in the 1990s, international luxury brands expanded and grew at a rapid pace in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China ( Asia Times 2004). Japan and the rest of the countries in Southeast Asia alone account for 50% of the total sales of the global luxury market, while the U.S. and Europe represent 25% ea ch ( Bhatnagar, 2003) The most prominent region demonstrating the luxury trends is referred to as Greater China, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. According to LVMH in 2005, a French luxury goods corporation, Mainland Chinese are already the companys fourth largest group of customers (McGregor, 2005, p.1). LVMH estimates that as early as 2009, Chinese customers will be the number one purchasers of luxury goods in the world (Socha, 2005, p.2). Chinese consumers are viewed as the new Japane sea potentially huge group of status conscious, increasingly wealthy people hungry for brands and fanatical about shopping. Chinese attitudes to luxury have changed dramatically; Chinese consumers flaunt their status through consuming identifiable luxury goods, while at the same time, ostentatious consumption asserts their importance in luxury market. Louis Vuitton opened its first full range shop in Shanghai and

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14 expanded to 13 stores as early as 2004; Prada invested $40m in China and doubles the number of stores there in 2007; Armani plans to open 2030 new stores on the mainland in 2008 (Movius, 2005). Importance and Purpose of Study The relevant importance of luxury branding in Greater China, however, has not received a great deal of academic attention, though some research has systematically been conducted on luxury consumption in U.S. and Europe. Little luxuryrelated research has focus on Asia. Some previous research explored the difference between East West luxury consumption habits (Wong and Ahuvia, 1998, and Chung and Zaichkowsky, 1999). Since that time, there is a noticeable gap in literature of this area, especially research focusing on China, the most promising global market for luxury brands. Recently, luxury brands have established websites to directly communication with current and potential consumers. Online marketing for luxury goods also is beginning to have a significant impact. What are the overall characteristics of luxury brand websites? Do English language luxury website have Chinese la nguage counterpart? To what degree are the websites standardized or adapted? What does standardization mean in terms of luxury brand websites features? Luxury goods have unique characteristics and additional value besides the product itself. The managem ent of luxury goods and the brand construction strategy may be very different in various product categories. According to product category, what are the dominant attributes differences for luxury brands depicted on English and Chinese language websites? Do es product category affect the dominant luxury brand website characteristics? Furthermore, luxury brands come from different countries, what is imagery of countryof origin difference present in luxury brands websites in Chinese and Englishlanguage? Does imagery of countryof origin affect the dominant luxury brand website characteristics? What are the cultural dimension

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15 differences present in luxury brands websites in Chinese and English? China has now reached a point where brand differentiation is the ke y; while luxuries represent the appreciation for perfection, heritage, and craftsmanship, authenticity plays an indispensable role in luxury branding. Does authenticity carry the same importance and presence in luxury brands websites? If so, what aspects o f authenticity are present? Is there a difference in how authenticity is depicted in luxury websites in Chinese and English? To address the above questions and fill the gap in the literature, the current study will explore luxury brand websites in Chinese and English language in terms of website characteristics, standardization versus adaptation, product category, country of origin, cultural viewpoints and authenticity. The overall contribution of this research is to forward and apply theoretical perspectiv es to luxury online branding strategy and tactics. The research will be the first content analysis study in luxury online branding in China market as well. The integrated authenticity model and luxury brands authenticity index will contribute greatly in luxury branding research. Finally, the findings will be utilized by both industry and new media professionals as a practical outline for effective online branding in the market of China. Outline To explore these questions, a review of the relevant literatu re is presented in chapter two. The discussion includes what luxury is, the difference between luxury and expensive products, clear definition of luxury branding, online branding, the current situation of luxury brands online, standardization versus adaptation, product category, the imagery of country of origin, cultural dimensions of luxury branding, and authenticity. Extending from past literature review, hypotheses and research questions are made at each section of chapter 2. In chapter three, efforts ar e made regarding the definition of traditional content analysis, the unique issues associated with website content analysis, reliability and validity in content

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16 analysis, unit of analysis and sample frame, as well as the current study procedure. Chapter 4 will detail the results of the study. Last, chapter 5 will conclude the study according to the major findings, shed light on future research possibilities, and discuss the contribution plus limitations of the current study.

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17 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The literature review will include past research and discussions about the definition of luxury, luxury branding, online branding, product category, imagery of countryof origin, cultural dimensions and authenticity. In order to expand and further an under standing of luxury branding literature, the researcher examines research containing key words such as luxury branding, prestige (Garfein, 1989) or status (Eastman et al, 1999). The following sections examine how the luxury branding literature can be systematically organized: What Is Luxury? First, it is necessary in this study to distinguish and give separate academic definition to the concepts of prestige, status, and luxury. Vigneron and Johnson (2004) give a clarified classification about t he difference between luxury and prestige; they maintained that prestige is used when relating to the extreme end of the luxurybrand category; the term luxury is more inclusive of both personal and interpersonal aspects (p.488), while prestige is often related to behavioral aspects (Vigneron and Johnson, 1999). Some research does not specify between the concepts of prestige, status, and luxury (Dubois and Czellar, 2002). Other researchers implied that luxuries give prestige and status (Andrus et. a l., 1986). Since this research is neither consumer based nor market driven, the author considers luxury branding a broader and more integrative viewpoint containing all the related research might project to luxury branding, namely prestige, status, and luxury. Luxury, derived from the Latin word luxus signifies soft or extravagant living, over indulgence and sumptuousness, luxuriousness, opulence (Dubois et. al., 2005, p.115). Nueno and Quelch (1998) provide luxurys meaning: indulgence of the se nses, regardless of cost. A luxury product is a work of art designed for an exclusive market. They define luxury brands as

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18 the following, those whose ratio of functionality to price is low, while the ratio of intangible and situational utility to price is high (p.62). In other words, luxuries are bought for what they mean, beyond what they are. The Difference between Luxury and Expensive Products Is a premium priced product considered luxury? Or does a status symbol represent luxury? To what point can a brand be regarded as a luxury brand? Nueno and Quelch (1998, p.6263) indicate traditional luxury brands share the following characteristics with their historical antecedents: 1. Consistent delivery of premium quality across all products in the line, from t he most to the least expensive; 2. A heritage of craftsmanship, often stemming from the original designer; a recognizable style or design; 3. A limited production run of any item to ensure exclusivity; 4. Limited distribution and premium pricing, position combining emotional appeal with product excellence; 5. A global reputation with an association of country of origin; an ability to time design shifts and the personality and values of its creator. Defining Luxury Branding Luxury branding is defined as consumer intrins ic and market centered in most past research. The most prominent example is found in Phau and Prendergasts (2000) comprehensive luxury brand definition; they delineate luxury branding to evoke exclusivity, have a well known brand identity, enjoy high bra nd awareness and perceived quality, and retain sales levels and customer loyalty (p.1234). Some researchers shed light on a luxury branding definition from a social perspective. For example, Kapferer (1997) defines that luxury is the appendage of the r uling classes (p.253). One perception in some research regards luxury as buying to impress others (Berry, 1994;

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19 OCass and Frost, 2002). Gradually, this perspective developed and was classified into two types socially oriented and personally oriented l uxury consumption (Wong and Ahuvia, 1998; Vigneron and Johnson, 1999; Wong et. al., 1999; Tsai, 2005). Social orientation covers most luxuryrelated research during the past ten years, while personal orientation research addressed by Tsai (2005): as theor etically proposed or empirically verified, personal orientation towards luxurybrand consumption is anteceded by self directed pleasure, self gift giving, congruity with internal self, and quality assurance (p.432). Another social comparison theory sugges ts that media more or less promote consumers identification with luxury as a social status tool to differentiate from others, enhance and display ones self image, thus increase consumers desire for luxury goods (Mandel et al., 2006). Luxury, in its simplest nature, is an experiential process. No matter how marketing or advertising try to position a luxury brand, if consumers cannot identify with the essence of the brand, all is in vain. Through the identification process, which is feeling and experience, luxury can become luxury branding, and thats the reason consumers play an indispensable role in luxuryrelated research. In the current study, luxury branding in Asia is scrutinized under the definition provided by Phau and Prendergast (2000): evoke exc lusivity, have a well known brand identity, enjoy high brand awareness and perceived quality, and retain sales levels and customer loyalty (p.1234). Historically, luxury items were composed of handcrafted designs that were used by royalty and nobility in the nineteenth century. The first luxury brands consisted of silverware, glassware, and china made industrially in France and England by Baccarat, Wedgwood, Lalique, and others (Nueno and Quelch, 1998, p.62). Luxuries are limited and accessible to onl y a few. For common people, imitations are the only way getting closer to the untouchable. Therefore, the

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20 development of luxury branding is a social exchange process of status, legacy, authority and exclusivity. Regarding the importance of luxury brand gr owth in Asia, what are the factors of luxury branding elicit consumers demand for luxury goods? This question can be examined from consumers perspectives and from a brand management viewpoint. Vigneron and Johnson (1999) propose a theoretical framework of five main factors that explain the prestige seeking consumer decisionmaking process. The five main factors, which were called the luxury brand index in their 2004 research, are made up of two major perspectives: nonpersonal oriented perceptions and per sonal oriented perceptions. In the nonpersonal oriented perceptions, there are conspicuousness, uniqueness and quality; while in personal oriented perceptions, there are perceived hedonism and perceived extendedself. These are the five key luxury dimens ions that must be established or monitored for creating a lasting luxury brand (Vigneron and Johnson, 2004, p.489). Catry (2003) analyzed luxury brands as the great pretenders and magicians, and maintained that luxury goods attract consumers through a c ombination of quality, emotion and rarity (p.16). Also, when probing luxury branding from an informationbased rarity slant, the researcher states that fakes cast a symbolic shadow of preciousness and exclusivity (p.16), but admits that the overflow of counterfeits do promote the publicity of luxury branding in a certain beneficial way. It certainly provides another possibility for future research on the relationship between counterfeits and luxuries, which rests outside the parameters of the current stu dy. Online Branding Brand management on the Internet has become a common issue for all kinds of brands; this is no exception for luxury brands. This new area of luxury branding study is getting more attention recently. As early as 1997, Nyeck and Roux exam ined the Internet as a communication

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21 tool for luxury brands. They compared the perceptions of consumers and managers. The Internet was not as prevalent in 1997, hence, it must have some restriction. Furthermore, many characteristics of luxury goods such as high price high risk can become limits for Internet luxury branding development. The Internets prevalence and standardization contradicts the rarity principle of luxury goods (Dubois and Paternault, 1995). On the other hand, luxury brands can be desi red by all (Kapferer, 1996). Phau and Prendergast (2000) propose that the brands popularity does amplify the dream value, especially for Asian consumers. Therefore, dealing with high profits and exclusivity simultaneously turns out to be the focal point i n luxury online branding. Riley and Lacroix (2003) re addresses this subject of luxury branding on the Internet through indepth interviews with luxury brand managers, face to face and on line questionnaire surveys with consumers, and content analysis of l uxury brand website. They found that managers opinions and consumers attitudes toward Internet has not changed much since Nyeck and Rouxs (1997) research stating, realities still fall short of the expectations of both sides, Internet has not exploited the interactive potential for luxury branding (p.102) and Internet still works best as a communication tool than as a customer acquisition channel for luxury brands (p.96). There is quite a difference between online and offline luxury branding. Probabl y the most significant factor to consider is the environmental quality. When consumers go to luxury brand websites, will they be aware of the same atmosphere like luxurious and perfect aesthetics, as they feel in highly selective distribution channels? Pre vious research recognize other features such as speed of execution, interactivity, marketing and sales convergence, the importance of trust and relationship, and customer loyalty challenges (Ibeh et al., 2005), which contribute to differences between online and offline branding.

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22 The unique characteristics of the Internet have not only shifted power from companies to customers, making branding more dynamic and complex. Ibeh et al. (2005) suggest that in coping with internet technology, many online business es are searching for new ebrand building strategies that might assist them in creating some distinctiveness and engaging their customers (p.359). Some strategies included in achieving building an e branding relationship with customers are to: establish an online brand to gain first mover advantages; undergoing a systematic process of understanding, attracting, engaging, retaining, and learning about target consumers; going beyond generating awareness to a greater focus on developing trust and repurchase rate; unique messages, unique functionality and unique personalization techniques; delivering a quality product/service experience; having unique positioning concept and strong communication programme; enhancing total brand experience and surrounding customers with superior market presence (p.359). These strategies also will be applied to examine whether luxury brands just create websites to catch up with the e branding trend, or whether they truly utilize e branding strategies to manage relationships with their customers. Therefore, the current research will focus on online branding and extend Riley and Lacroixs (2003) work, using the framework provided by Carroll (2001) integrated with Riley and Lacroix (2003), Lee et.al. (2004), and Seringhaus (2005) to analyze luxury brand websites by examining the characteristics of general, visuals, promotion, communication, interactivity and sales features. Detailed definitions of each category can be found in Appendix C. Current Situation of Luxury Brands Online Whe ther the emergence of the Internet can be viewed as a means contributing to luxury branding is one of the main purposes in the current study. In past research, not much insightful findings are explored concerning this aspect. The Internet seems to be a sup plemental tool for luxury branding (Nyeck and Roux, 1997). The reasons why luxury brands have official sites are

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23 either for the e commerce purpose or simply because every luxury brand has a website so no exception to me. Certainly the Internet is an unavo idable development in luxury branding. Through the Internet, luxury brands can create strong awareness and salience; provide consumers with basic brand history, store information and exhibit current season collections. With sophisticated and unique website construction, the Internet can carve out exact luxury brand image. In addition, the Internet help forming consumers attitude toward the luxury brands. If a strong, favorable and unique association correlates consumers with the luxury brand website, it de finitely implies that consumers will have preferable judgments toward the brand (Aaker, 1996). The Internet brings in opportunity, while at the same time posing a threat as well. Because, served as a mass medium, the nature and function of the Internet con tradict the most significant feature of luxuryexclusivity. Most luxury brand management includes the Internet as a communication and information tool because it cannot substitute the major function of human service and interaction (Riley and Lacroix, 2003 ). Luxury goods are experience goods in feature, and the shopping experience is a pleasure in nature. Hence, few luxury brands have fully exploited the powerful medium and established a customized relationship with customers. After roughly scrutinizing t he most referred 53 luxury brands in past study (Phau and Prendergast, 2000; Wong and Zaichkowsky, 1999; Vigneron and Johnson, 1999), all of them have online websites, but more than half of them do not have Chinese websites. Noteworthy is those only 5 webs ites are adapted, and the rest seems to be standardized. In view of the interesting status, the results of comparing Englishlanguage and Chinese language will be quite limited. Therefore, two groups of luxury brands will be compared in the current resear ch: English with Chinese language luxury brand websites and English without Chinese language

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24 luxury brand websites. Furthermore, the author will include the issue of standardization and adaptation in the literature review to shed light on the true meaning and role of standardization in luxury brand websites. Standardization and Adaptation The debate concerning practice of standardization versus adaptation has continued for decades. Considering the many similarities of worldwide consumers, proponents of st andardization stress many benefits like cost reduction in planning and control, and the building of an international brand image (Agrawal, 1995). Levitt (1983) points out the idea of globalization, a term synonymous with standardization. He argues that consumer markets around the world have gradually become homogenized, in order to maintain the originality and authenticity of international brand products, it is better to standardize. On the other hand, the supporters of adaptation argue that country diffe rences, culture factors, economical development, media availability, and legal regulation should be taken into consideration; hence a certain degree of adaptation has to be applied to meet the local markets needs. Adaptation, often referred to as localiza tion and customization, ranges from the design, look and shape of a product, the features of the particular product or service, the type of packaging, various aspects of promotional materials and associated programs to positioning and overall marketing (Willis, 2006). Mueller (2004) thinks that there are two kinds of product adaptation: one is called the mandatory product adaptation, and the other is discretionary product adaptation. Mandatory product adaptation, namely, means the international firms adapts their products with no other choice mostly because of legal, environmental regulations or other limitations. In discretionary conditions, international firms have more choices to explore, evaluate and consider the different consumption patterns, social and economic factors, cultural criteria, and others.

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25 Studies revealed that the feasibility of product standardization/ adaptation may depend on the specific product category. According to Tai (1998), the nine variables affecting the extent of product standa rdization are product type, country of origin of the firms, competitive situation, political risk, advertising regulation, target segment, stage of product life cycle, organization experience and control, and market infrastructure (p.3942). As for luxury brands, the difference between standardization and adaptation is in degree rather than in kind (Onkvisit and Shaw, 1987). Willis (2004) found that consumers in emerging markets like China dislike any degree of adaptation because they feel that the products were no longer original, international, authentic and honest (p. 70). Chinese consumers regard imported products as more prestigious than domestic ones. Hence, an international standardized brand image enhances the status of foreign brands in Chinese cons umers minds. Willis (2006) also indicated that the higher the international brand image of a product or service, the less one should dilute it by extensive adaptation in China, as this market is buying the product or service because of its international i mage and status (p.72). Marketing luxury products in an unadapted manner maintain brand equity and status across various locations. Going global is the way to recognize global market forces and similarities between selected markets (Schuiling and Klapfer er, 2004). Furthermore, the study discovered when it comes to international products or services, Chinese consumers want them to be as unadpated as possible (Willis, 2006). Websites have been viewed as a low cost tool to approach the global market. In Okazakis (2005) study, the extent of standardization in US brands websites applied in Europe is explored. He suggests that websites are global interactive marketing communications for consumers to see, consult and obtain product related information, regardless of time and space restrictions (p.88).

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26 Using a five point semantic scale, the extent of website standardization can be examined. Okazaki found that a minimum level of uniformity in logo, color and layout is maintained in Europe websites. The main obj ective of brand websites is to enhance globally uniform image and provide brand identity. Thus, the current study aims to identify to what extent luxury brands standardize their websites designed for China market. The measurement of the extent of website s tandardization, namely, the similarity ratings, in Okazakis study will be adopted (Appendix B). According to Okazaki (2005), this measure was partially adopted from coding schemes suggested by Mueller (1991), and it has satisfactory reliability of 0.83 wh ich exceeded the minimum value of 0.80. And the following hypotheses are made: H1 The Chinese language counterparts in English with Chinese luxury brand websites are highly standardized with the Englishlanguage counterparts. Product Category Based on mos t referred 53 luxury brands in past research, five product categories are determined as automobiles, fashion, handbags and shoes, jewelry, and watches. The categorization of each brand is partly based on Interbrands Best 100 Brands 2008 and past study. T he difference of luxury brands within the same product category is worth comparing as well. In Seringhaus (2005), significant differences were found when comparing French and Italian luxury brands website characteristics across identical product categories. Accordingly, the following research questions can be made: RQ1 Will there be significant difference of luxury brands website characteristics across different product categories? RQ2 Will there be any difference in t he extent of luxury brand websites standardization by different product category and countryof origin?

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27 Imagery of Country of Origin (COO) Countryof origin effect has been broadly defined as any influence, positive or negative, that the country of manufacture might have on the consumers choice processes or subsequent behavior (Elliott and Cameron, 1994). In general, past research suggest that favorable country perceptions lead to favorable inferences about product attributes and subsequent favorable evaluations (GurhanCanli and Maheswar an, 2000; Hong and Wyer, 1990; Maheswaran, 1994; Aaker and Maheswaran, 1997). Kotler and Gertner (2002) pointed out the fact that consumers use country of origin information as an indicator of quality. The simple manipulation of the countryof origin or m ade in label influence consumers attitudes. There are many factors influencing countryof origin effects on consumers evaluation. In Klein, Ettenson, and Morris (1998) study, they suggest that culture specific factors influence the weight given to the countryof origin in product evaluations and that attitudes toward foreign products may be governed by inferences other than those about product quality. While in other cases concerning the impact of the country of origin on highly valued global brands, g lobal marketers, for cost reasons, relocate manufacturing facilities, then country of origin information can be less important when other indicators of quality exist (DAstouts and Ahmed, 1992). When consumers are unfamiliar with the product, COO may dire ctly affect consumer beliefs about product attributes and indirectly affects their overall evaluations of products through these beliefs (Ahmed et al., 2002, p.282). When consumers are more knowledgeable about brands in a product class, they are more willi ng to let COO cues enter their evaluation process. However, if the brand is a well known global one, the relative effect of COO diminishes (p. 283). In a review and meta analysis of country of origin study, it was found that COO has a larger effect on perceived quality than on attitude toward the product or purchase intention. Furthermore, the differences in economic development are important factor underlying the

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28 countryof origin effect. The COO effect does not differ between industrial and consumer purchasing, nor is it affected by multi national production (Verlegh and Steenkamp, 1999, p.521).. Countryof origin has different effects in various area of product business. COO does appear to be an important cue for consumers of services. Countryof origin e ffects were found to be stronger than brand effects for quality and attitude ratings, while brand was more significantly correlated with purchase intentions (Ahmed et al., 2002, p.279). In purchasing luxury products, consumers purchasing intentions are hi gher when no COO information is provided than when a moderate country impression exists. For developing or recently developed countries consumers, a very positive COO can be an asset for the particular product category, but avoid giving COO cues to consum ers if COO is not the most positive impression (Piron, 2000, p.317). Most COO research focuses on its impact on consumers perception about certain products and their evaluations of product quality (Pharr, 2005). However, the current research does not inc lude consumers perceptions about luxury websites; instead it focuses on the applied imagery of COO to gain greater understanding of the usage of COO on luxury websites. Hence, the literature review will only discuss the most relevant research concerning t he imagery of COO. Simply speaking, country of origin refers to a critical information cue pertaining to where a product originally comes from. Samli (1995) suggests country of origin plays a major role in having the product accepted in different world mar kets. Ahmed et al. (2002) divide COO into two separate discrete components. The first is informational, providing cues to consumers regarding the quality, dependability and value for the money of the product; while the second relates directly to ones national loyalty (p.280).

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29 In the current study, Roth and Romeos (1992) four dimensions of country image will be applied to analyze luxury vs. nonluxury brand websites across different product categories. According to Roth and Romeo (1992), the four dimensi ons of country image met the following criteria: (1) were consistently found in previous research; (2) related to perceptions of a countrys production and marketing strengths and weaknesses; (3) either intuitively and/or based on previous research, are ap plicable to a broad range of product categories (p.480). The country image dimensions are defined as (Roth and Romeo1992, p.480): INNOVATIVENESS Use of new technology and engineering advances DESIGN Appearance, style, colors, variety PRESTIGE Exclusivity, status, brand name reputation WORKMANSHIP Reliability, durability, craftsmanship, manufacturing quality. Furthermore, a strong and close link between COO and perceptions of product quality has been reported in pre vious research (Elliot and Cameron, 1994). In Piron (2000, p.308), the imagery of COO is defined as the picture, the reputation, the stereotype that businessmen and consumers attach to products of a specific country. The image is created by such variables as representative products, national characteristics, economic and political background, history, and traditions (Nagashima, 1970, p.68). Research also suggests that a products COO has a stronger effect when considering luxury products by consumers in e merging markets (Piron 2000, p.309). Thus, the following is hypothesized: H 2. There will be greater COO image usage among English with Chinese language luxury brand websites than English without Chinese language luxury brand websites. Cultural Viewpoints of Luxury Branding This section discusses the cultural factors examined in past research and differences between certain countries in Asia and Western cultures. Dubois and Duquesnes (1993b)

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30 research aims to compare the predictive power of income versus cu lture, on the basis of segmentation in the market of luxury goods. Their findings support two hypotheses: the higher the income of an individual, the higher the propensity to purchase luxury goods; the more positive the attitude towards cultural change, the higher the propensity to buy luxury goods. Consumers, if they want to belong to a culture, behave in a similar manner, accepting the same norms and respecting or rejecting the same values (p.39). Another important finding suggests that consumers buy luxury products for what they symbolize. This is consistent with motions that hedonic consumption and conspicuous consumption, express ones values through extended self personality. In 1995, Dubois and Paternault created the dream formula to understand the world of international luxury brands using personal interviews and survey research. The relationship of three factors in the dream formula awareness, purchase, and dream, are closely and strongly related. The research concludes that luxury products need to follow the rarity principle as a main character. Only when based on a limited diffusion level can luxury brands develop the dream factor without jeopardizing their appeal. This insight turns out to be a major principal for most luxury brands to follow the limited edition version of luxuries. Wong and Ahuvia (1998) are the earliest researchers to pay attention to the importance of the Asian market in luxury branding. They inspected the cultural factors from personal taste and family face to compare luxury consumption in Confucian and Western societies. Materialism and conspicuous consumption are noted in this work. The major theory focused upon is self concept integrated with a cross cultural consumption model. They identified that because the Asian in terdependent self focuses more on the public, outer self than the Western, the independent self, Asian group norms and goals frequently emphasize public and visible possessions (p.437). And

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31 Asians apparent materialism may be manifested in social conformi ty, instead of reflecting on internal personal tastes, traits, or goals. In examining Singapore, Phau and Prendergast (2000) extends Dubois and Paternaults (1995) work to investigate the rarity principle in consuming luxury brands. Some interesting findi ngs support the belief that Asian consumers hold different perceptions in the ownership of luxury brands compared to the West. They reject the rarity principle which commonly exists in the U.S. research, showing increasing awareness yields higher levels of brand preference and generate more purchase intentions (p.122). Active marketing communication is highly recommended to promote luxury brands in the Asian market. The center of attention should be in strengthening the luxury brand image and offering t he core value benefits. Tsai (2005) conducted a cross national investigation, including the regions of Asia Pacific (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan), Western Europe (Germany, France, and Britain), and North America (United States and Canada), to examine t he impact of personal orientation on luxurybrand purchase value. To fill the lack of personal oriented consumers research on luxury branding, an incorporated model based on past theoretical frameworks and research findings, of personal orientation towards luxurybrand consumption was created. The findings empirically sustained that personal orientation in the international market may significantly impact on repurchase behavior elicited for luxuries (p. 450). Hence, the author summarized that internatio nal marketing efforts for luxuries, while revolving around enhancing the impression management function, should also be geared to meeting the needs of self directed pleasure, self gift giving, congruity with internal self and quality assurance for building and strengthening brand loyalty (p.429).

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32 In order to content analyze luxury brands websites, Singh et al. (2003) provided a cultural value framework to categorize websites by integrating Hofstedes (1980, 1991) four cultural dimensions and Halls (1976) two dimension models. They gave justification in choosing and combining these two models. First, Hofstedes cultural typology has been extensively replicated, its dimensions have been empirically developed and verified, and its framework has been found to be a valid basis for the analysis of regional differences and as a means through which Web marketers could adapt their websites to local cultures. Second, both models have parsimony and analytical flexibility in measuring culture (p.65). Hofstedes four dimensions are individualism collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance and masculinity femininity; in the current research, the dimension of highand low context cultures (Hall, 1967) is also included. Appendix A provides the cultural categories of each dimension, and detailed explanations for each cultural category. The definition of the five dimensions and research hypothesis are as follows: 1. Individualism Collectivism: It describes the relationships individual have in each culture. In collectivist societies, individuals look after group norms, group spirit, strong loyalty and relationship within the group; while in individualist cultures I consciousness is centered, people value self reliance, achievement, independence and freedom (Hofstede, 1980). US and other western countries scored higher in individualism according to Hofstedes website than the Greater China. Thus, it can be hypothesized that: H3 English with Chinese language luxury brands websites contain higher levels of collectivism oriented features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites. 2. Uncertainty avoidance: It refers to the context to which people feel threatened by uncertainty and ambiguity and try to avoid these situations (Hofstede 1991, p.113). A high level of uncertainty avoidance means to be more riskaverse, avoid ambiguous situations, and value security than adventure or risk. Most Asian countries score high on uncertainty avoidance, especially China and Taiwan. Thus, it can be hypothesized that: H 4. English with Chinese language luxury brands websites depict higher levels of uncertainty avoidance features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites.

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33 3. Power distance: This dimension explains how different societies treat inequalitie s in social structure, usually portrayed by hierarchy and dependence relationships in family or organization. Therefore, the more power distance a society exhibits, the more emphasis on social status, referent power, authority, and legitimacy. On the contr ary, low power distance cultures value equal rights and less hierarchy. Its apparent that the US scores lower than Greater China on this dimension, so it is hypothesized that: H5 English with Chinese language luxury brands websites exhibit higher levels of power distance oriented features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites. 4. Masculinity Femininity: According to Hofstede (1980), when a country dominant in masculinity, it emphasizes achievement and success. A feminine country cares for others and quality of life. Unlike feminine cultures, masculine cultures are more inclined towards directness, decisiveness, and the emphasis of mastery over nature. US, a masculine culture example, scores higher than Greater China on this dimension, and the hypothesis can be stated as follows: H6 English without Chinese language luxury brands websites represent higher levels of masculinity oriented features than English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. 5. High and low context culture: high context culture is featured by indirect verbal expressions, and are implicit, polite, modest, and ambiguous (Singh et al., 2003, p.135). Lowcontext culture is the opposite, preferring direct comparison in an explicit code. Mueller (1987) found that l ow context cultures such as the US make explicit mention of communication messages, while in highcontext cultures the messages are deeply embedded in the context. Based on Hall (1976) and Mueller (1987), China is high context culture while the US is a low context one. Accordingly, the hypotheses are stated as: H7 English without Chinese language luxury brands websites portray higher levels of highcontext oriented features than English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H8 English with Chi nese language luxury brands websites portray higher levels of low context oriented features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites. Authenticity Authenticity is a crucial contemporary marketing practice but its nature and use in onl ine websites have to date received scant attention, let alone in the luxury branding arena. On the other hand, consumers quest for authenticity is on the rise as well. Beverland (2005) suggests authenticity is critical to brand status, price premiums and highend quality. One significant factor in a unique brand identity is authenticity because consumers pursue authentic products and

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34 experiences (Keller 2003; Aaker 1996). Authenticity directly communicates what the brand stands for and conveys the core val ue of the brands tradition (Brown et al., 2003). There are various definitions of authenticity. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (1989), being authentic is being reliable, trustworthy, original, firsthand, and prototypical as opposed to copied. Authenticity is the quality of being true in substance, and such quality is essential for antiques and art. Trilling (1972) gives a short and clear view; he thinks authenticity of an object is as the function of perceived genuineness and positive valuation. While Beverland (2005) defines authenticity as a story that balances industrial (production, distribution and marketing) and rhetorical attributes to project sincerity through the avowal of commitments to traditions (including production methods, produ ct styling, firm values, and/or location), passion for craft and production excellence, and the public disavowal of the role of modern industrial attributes and commercial motivations (p.1008). Fines (2003) definition of authenticity is sincere, innocen t, original, genuine, and unaffected.linked to moral authority of the creator and simultaneously to the fact that the object was made by hand, not mechanically produced (p.155). Gilmore and Pine (2007) suggest that what a company sells to a customer, te rmed as economic offerings, is commodities, goods, services, experiences, and transformations (p.46). The five economic offerings constitute the progression of economic value, which frames and explores the possibilities and landscapes of authenticity in five genres. They give specific definition to each genre (p.4950): 1. Commodities Natural authenticity : People tend to perceive as authentic that which exists in its natural state in or of the earth, remaining untouched by human hands; not artificial or synt hetic. 2. Goods Original authenticity: People tend to perceive as authentic that which possesses originality in design, being the first of its kind, never before seen by human eyes; not a copy or imitation.

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35 3. Services Exceptional authenticity: People tend to pe rceive as authentic that which is dons exceptionally well, executed individually and extraordinarily by someone demonstrating human care; not unfeelingly or disingenuously performed. 4. ExperiencesReferential authenticity: People tend to perceive as authenti c that which refers to some other context, drawing inspiration from human history, and tapping into our shared memories and longings; not derivative or trivial. 5. Transformations Influential authenticity: People tend to perceive as authentic that which exert s influence on other entities, calling human beings to a higher goal and providing a foretaste of a better way; not inconsequential or without meaning. Gilmore and Pine (2007) detail each genre in a more explicit way, and they define particular principles for each genre (please refer to Appendix A). They advise that in any offering appealing to authenticity, one or more of these five genres, and usually all five, are encountered (p.50). Thus, the following hypotheses are formulated: H9 There is no differe nce of natural authenticity exhibited in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H10. There is no difference of original authenticity displayed in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H11. There is no difference of exceptional authenticity shown in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H12. There is no difference of referential authenticity r evealed in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H13. There is no difference of influential authenticity demonstrated in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. Authenticity is craved and earnestly desired by consumers in this mass production world. They need products to show authenticity to assure the plausibility of its value (Rose and Wood, 2005). For luxury brands, images of authenticity enhance c onsumers acknowledgement of brands core values and traditions and differentiate brands from other mass market commercialized ones. The use of myths and status statements characterizes the intrinsic elements of authenticity including the product, producti on process, origin place, historic or classis style (Beverland, 2005). Beverland and Luxton (2005) indicate that cultural sources of

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36 communication strategies are widely applied to authenticity image building in luxury wine firms integrated marketing comm unication (IMC) management. However, the relationship between cultural sources and authenticity of luxury brands has not been testified in related research. Thus, the following research question is generated: RQ3 What is the relationship between cultural dimensions and authenticity of luxury brands in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language websites? Beverland (2005) in his work categorizes seven elements to create the image of authenticity in luxury wines. He also thinks that it is required to create a sincere story consisting of a creative blend of industrial and rhetorical attributes. Sincerity is achieved through the public avowal of hand crafted techniques, uniqueness, relationship to place, passion for production, and the simultaneous disavowal of commercial motives, rational production methods, and the use of modern marketing techniques (p.1003). The seven elements include protecting status, which means that luxury brands represent the highest stage a brand can achieve in terms of value, and the identification of status based positioning of luxury brands is to retain their equity; real commitments to quality, which means that luxury brand history and story related directly to real commitments to production quality; price p erformance, being able to demonstrate actual ongoing product quality and the existence of price premiums was critical for protecting status; using place as a referent, this view of authenticity was expressed in the commitment to terroir. Terroir was origin ally a French term in wine coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that geography bestowed upon them. It can be very loosely translated as "a sense of place" w hich is embodied in certain qualities, and the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the manufacture of the product. The use of terroir as a positioning statement and guiding philosophy reinforced a point of uniqueness, granting authenti city to the product.

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37 The fifth element is traditional production methods. The linking of the brand to place or traditional methods of production led the luxury brands to seek protection for the use of that name, and traditional expressions represented the images of craft production. The sixth is stylistic consistency. It is associated with remaining true to past styles while adapting to changing consumer tastes. The brand icon or style illustrates the legend and timelessness of the brand and the intrinsic qualities established over time. The last is history and culture as referents, which means making links to the past enhances brand sincerity. It is another means to ensure authenticity by drawing on historical associations and building links to cultural events. Authenticity is communicated through heritage and links with past events, resulting in the continuance of myths regarding the production processes of certain style icons. Derived from consumers personal experience, authenticity is denoted via physic al attributes (indexically) and brand essence (iconically) (Grayson and Martinec, 2004). The degree of originality and the extent of genuineness judged by consumers experiences according to an absolute, objective criterion delineate the indexical authenti city (MacCannell, 1973), though the quality perceived, not the absolute but the relative and contextually determined, and the symbolic constructive interpretation of certain expectation projected unto the objects by consumers explain the iconic authentici ty (Cohen, 1988; Bruner, 1994). Beverland et al. (2008) identify three forms of authenticity in line with the above two features: pure (literal) authenticity, approximate authenticity, and moral authenticity (p.5). Pure (literal) authenticity is to provide consumer with in situ guarantee of the genuine article; approximate authenticity is to provide consumer with a feeling that this brand will help achieve self authentication through connecting with place and time; moral authenticity is to provide consumer with a feeling that this brand will

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38 help achieve self authentication though connecting with personal moral values. The detail of three forms of authenticity is listed in the Appendix A. Beverland and Luxton (2005) stated that using advertising to build the image of authenticity is difficult because the mass marketing will undermine such claim. In the same way, Internet is one of the major tools in mass marketing. So the form of pure authenticity is more important than other two in authenticity image buildin g. Therefore, the author applies the five genres of authenticity (Gilmore and Pine, 2007), the seven elements of the image of authenticity (Beverland, 2005) and three forms of authenticity (Beverland et al., 2008) to analyze luxury brands websites. The fol lowing hypotheses are made: H14. There is no difference of seven elements exhibited in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites to build the image of authenticity. H15. Pure authenticity is more exhibited in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites than approximate and moral authenticity. Authenticity has been sought to be associated with major companies brands, and it is central to consumer roles within a lmost every subculture and consumption context (Leigh et al., 2006). Tradition, culture and craft have been used to create a powerful image of authenticity (Beverland et al., 2008). Nevertheless, Fine (2003) implies utilizing mainstream communication strategy (i.e. advertising) to project the image of authenticity may pose difficulty for luxury brands. On the one side a luxury brand needs to maintain its exclusiveness, while on the other it needs to relate to the mass market. Whereas, Beverland et al. (2008 ) identify the contrast findings: advertising does play a role in reinforcing images of authenticity, and advertisements can effectively communicate three forms of authenticity (p.13). In the same way, the Internet as a network of networks may relate well to the values associated with authenticity (Koiso Kanttila,

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39 2005, p. 66). In light of previous study, it gives the author motive to investigate the various aspects of authenticity recognized in the arena of luxury branding. An integrated model is require d for extracting the various aspects of authenticity in luxury branding. Preceding hypotheses can be testified through assigning value to each item in the proposed model, thus an index or scale of authenticity is built. The scale of authenticity for luxury brands is a unique contribution of the current study as well. Table 21 illustrates an overview of authenticity from past research. An original integrated model is presented based on incorporating all the aspects of authenticity previously mentioned in Fi gure 2 1. Based on the integrated authenticity scale, the following hypotheses are made. H16. Luxury brands scores lower in natural authenticity than other kinds of authenticity. H17. There is no difference of luxury brands authenticity scale scores in E nglish without Chinese language and English with Chinese language websites.

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40 Table 2 1. Authenticity Overview Author Authenticity Trilling (1972) a story that balances industrial (production, distribution and marketing) and rhetorical attributes to pr oject sincerity through the avowal of commitments to traditions (including production methods, product styling, firm values, and/or location), passion for craft and production excellence, and the public disavowal of the role of modern industrial attributes and commercial motivations (p.1008). MacCannell (1973) Indexical authenticity Iconic authenticity Fine (2003) Sincere, innocent, original, genuine, and unaffected.linked to moral authority of the creator and simultaneously to the fact that the objec t was made by hand, not mechanically produced (p.155). Beverland (2005) Seven elements: 1. Protecting status 2. Real commitments to quality 3. Price performance 4. Using place as a referent 5. Traditional production methods 6. Stylistic consistency 7. History and culture a s referents Gilmore and Pine (2007) Five genres: 1. Commodities Natural authenticity 2. Goods Original authenticity 3. Services Exceptional authenticity 4. Experiences Referential authenticity 5. Transformations Influential authenticity Bever land (2008) Three forms: 1. Pure (literal) authenticity 2. Approximate authenticity 3. Moral authenticity

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41 Figure 21. Integrated Model of Authenticity. Authenticity Natural Commodities Original Goods Exceptional Services Referential Experiences Influential Transformation Pure Indexical Stress materiality Leave it raw Reek rusticity Be bare Go green Approximate Iconic Traditiona l production methods Stylistic consistency Protecting status Real commitments to quality Price performance Appeal to personal aspiration Appeal to collective aspiration Embrace art Promote a cause Give meaning Stress your firsts Revive the past Look old Mix and mash Anti up Pay personal tribute Evoke a time Pick a place Make it matter Be realistic Be direct and frank Focus on uniqueness Go slow Treat as temporary Be foreign

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42 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The main goal of this study is to con tribute and gain additional insights about luxury branding, specifically through the analysis of luxury brand websites. And it is the content of luxury brand websites that matters in the current study, so consumers opinion research will not be included. T herefore, a quantitative content analysis is the most appropriate method to examine the research hypotheses through analyzing English with and without Chinese language luxury brands websites. Quantitative content analysis can be applied to measure words, symbols, themes, characters, and its a deductive way to explore research questions and hypotheses via predetermined categories. It allows testing theories empirically and generates new research ideas in an unobtrusive way. Through assigning numeric value s to content, it allocates numeric descriptions and statistic inference (Kolbe & Burnett, 1991). Defining Content Analysis According to Krippendorff (2004), Content analysis is a research technique for making replicable and valid inferences from data to their content (p.21). In Riffe, Lacy and Fico (2005), they identify content analysis as the systematic assignment of communication content to categories according to rules, and the analysis of relationships involving those categories using statistical methods (p.3). Berelson (1952) has a classic definition: Content analysis is a research technique for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of the manifest content of communication (p.18). Based on Berelsons definition, content analysis has three central characteristics: (1) objective: content analysis should be conducted in an objective way, without being biased or value laden. So the best way to conduct a content analysis study is to train different coders/

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43 judges to implement the codi ng process. (2) systematic: content analysis should be done in a systematic or consistent way, which means if the coding instrument is repeatedly used by other researchers, it still will be able to generate similar results over time. (3) generalizable: the results of content analysis should be generalizable to the population which the sample is drawn. The sample of the study must be representative and of sufficient size. Compared with other research methods, content analysis has many advantages: it can deal with large amounts of data; the materials are readily available, quickly be done without being obtrusive, requires fewer financial resources, provides information on processes and messages over time and can be used retroactively. However, content analys is has inherent problems as the following (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989, p.200205): 1. It is only limited to the examination of recorded communication. Content analysis is examining the formatted structures of communication, and it always scrutinizes past things. So it may have limited effect on shaping communication future. 2. The difficulty of drawing inferences about the intentions of sources or isolating effects. Besides manifest content, theres still latent content for researchers to analyze. Most of the time, i ts hard to isolate the effects in the intention of original sources; however, for the convenience of coding, researchers need to draw their own inferences from the context being examined. 3. The issues of carefully selecting categories may cause researchers to overlook some important insights. When choosing proper categories based on research purposes and past study, coders or researchers may be confined to the content itself and the manifest part of the content, thus ignore the important latent meaning or insights hidden in the research or content. 4. The difficulty in implementing all the research process in an ideal fashion. When actually implementing quantitative content analysis study, there are lots of issues needed to be dealt with. Hence, its crucial for researchers to conduct the study in an optimal way. Unique Issues Associated with Content Analysis of Websites The Internet provides both opportunity and challenge for brand managers as well as researchers. It changes content analysis. While the Internet offers a wide range of content and saves researchers time through using available index on many websites, it still has some inherent

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44 concerns for researchers (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989; Rossler, 1999; Weare and Lin, 2000; McMillan, 2000). The Constant Change in the Content of Websites In accordance with various situations, websites may change its content. If different coders code at the different time period, the website may show different content. For example, like Thanksgiving holidays or Memorial days, many brands websites will have big sales or special offer, so the website content will differ from ordinary days. For some news website like CNN, the news content changes everyday or even within several hours, and sometimes it changes with breaking news. All the conditions cause difficulty for researchers to content analyze the websites. Selecting Proper Unit of Analysis Websites are layers of information, and it has front page, main page, subpage, and so on. Every single webpage may contain important inform ation for coders to analyze; however, because of the constant change in content, its hard for researchers to decide the proper unit of analysis. For comparison purposes, its even more difficult to choose the appropriate unit of analysis because different websites have varied design and format. All the circumstances pose challenges for researchers to conduct a proper website content analysis study. Coding Online/ Offline The major issue lies in whether researchers should save the website and let coders co de it later, or they should have coders code at the same time and same place. If coding offline, it may sacrifice many special effect of the website that can be analyzed; however, if coding online, in order to avoid content change the next day, coders should code the websites together. But coding together may cause the contamination of judging independence. Faced with such dilemma, researchers have practical problems in coding offline or online.

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45 Different Programs and Browsers/ Coders Experiences and Skill s Because different coders may have different computers, using different Internet browsers and applied programs, in the mean time, their experiences and skills of Internet technology may vary, so it can become a problem when they code the website contents. Moreover, websites may have various design and special visual effect like animation, but if the coders computers do not have the applied program to display, then the rich content cannot be analyzed. Consequently, researchers should make sure that different coders have unified equipment and proper level of mastery in Internet technology. Reliability in Content Analysis Reliability is defined as the measure employed repeatedly by different investigators to the same contents will generate similar results, wh ich means equivalence and consistency in research results of content analysis. To maintain the objectiveness of the study, researchers need to train coders to implement the coding process. Usually there will be two or more coders in one study, so when it c omes to reliability issues in content analysis, inter coder reliability is the central check point to assure the reliability of the study. To enhance reliability, pretest of small size of sample is required during the training procedure. In the pretest, t he researcher can assess the intercoder reliability and revise the code sheet or code book if necessary. Another way to promoting reliability is to do a splithalf correlation check, randomly split the sample in half and examine the correlation. If the sc ore is high, it means good reliability; if not, then its needed to increase more samples until the correlation is high enough. There are various inter coder reliability estimates in content analysis as following illustrated (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989; Riffe et al., 2005; Krippendorff, 2004):

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46 1. Percentage of agreement The percentage of agreement is the most basic calculation of inter coder reliability. It is simply to count the percentage of agreement on coding items among different coders, and the percentage should be higher than .85. 2. Holsti (1963) 3. Scotts Pi 4. Cohens Kappa The same formula as Scotts Pi, but it usually has higher reliability. The difference between Kappa and Pi is in the way expected agreement is calculated. It assumes the analysis units are independent, the categories are independent, mutually exclusive and exhaustive, and the judges operate independently. Usually, the reliability is good when Kappa is between .40 and .75. 5. Krippendorffs Alpha Po Pc Kappa= Po= the pro portion of observed agreement 1 Pc Pc= the proportion of agreement judges agreed by chance 2(C 1 2 ) while C 1 2 means agreed items among R= two coders, C1+ C 2 means total category C1+ C 2 assign ments made by both coders. R should also be higher than .85. % observed agreement% expected agreement Pi= 1 % expected agreement Do Alpha= Do= the expected disagreement Dc Dc= the observed disagreement

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47 It is counted on disagreement between two or more coders rather than agreement, and it is used in nonnominal scale items and with smaller samples. Based upon the above elaboration, Holstis formula and Krippendorffs Alpha were applied to the current study. T hese two measures are widely adopted, and they can be used in analyzing nominal and noncategorical scale variables. In calculating inter coder reliability for the pretest, the researcher employed .90 as the percentage of agreement, which is satisfactory. Holstis formula and Krippendorffs Alpha were both applied to estimate the overall inter coder reliability. Out of 171 measured variables, Holstis formula found overall inter coder reliability to be .88 and Krippendorffs Alpha was .86, which are both hi gher than the acceptable .85. Validity in Content Analysis Before we can discuss meaningfully the validity of a measure, we must know that the measure is reliable. Measurement reliability is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for measurement vali dity. A reliable measure does not necessarily measure what one thinks it does. So a valid measure is both reliable in its application and valid for what it measures (Riffe et al., 2005, p.163). Without validation, generalization or interpretation of findi ngs would be difficult or impossible. Simply put it in a word, validity concerns the extent to which the measurement procedure truly measures what it is intended to measure. There are four kinds of validity in general and the test of different types of val idity as the following (Krippendorff, 2004; Riffe et al., 2005; Berelson, 1952): 1. Criterion validity It relates to the extent to which the measurement really matches with a certain pragmatic criterion. According to different time frame, criterion validity can be divided as two kinds; one is called concurrent validity, and the other is predictive validity. Concurrent validity is to determine the degree to which your measurement relates to the current criterion, while predictive validity is

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48 to assume the pred icting ability of your measure. What matters to criterion validity is to ensure the strength of the relationship between the measure instrument and the criterion. To test criterion validity, it is more effective to conduct an empirical research than other testing ways. 2. Construct validity This kind of validity is to see if the measure instrument truly measures the concept of the study, and its based on the accumulation of research evidence. There can be three kinds of construct validity: Convergent validity, which means the same concept using different research methods to measure should yield the similar results; Discriminant validity, which means that the concept being studied should be different from other closely related concepts; Hypothesis testing, whi ch means that the hypotheses derived from a theory should be supported if they have high validity. In testing construct validity, what counts is to make sure that the hypotheses are derived from the accumulation of previously established research. In the current study, all the categories are generated from prior welland over tested published research with high reliability and validity. Whereas in testing convergent validity, future research should take responsibility in replicating the same concepts measured with other research methods to inspect the consistency across situations. In addition, discriminant validity can be tested through the correlation check with other closely related concepts. 3. Face validity Concerning face validity, the central point is to tell if the concept items belong to the theoretical concepts on the face of it. Face validity can be verified by experts to confirm that theres no irrelevant item in the categories of the code sheet and code book.

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49 4. Content validity Content validity mea ns that the measure represents the universe of the content in the concept being studied. To test content validity, the most efficient way is for experts to judge if theres any missing item in the construct or any leftout item should be included. Unit of Analysis and Sample Frame The most ambiguous issue in website content analysis study is to decide the unit of analysis. McMillan (2000) points out many researchers cannot define accurately the term web site. However, more than half of past research appl ying content analysis to the World Wide Web use web site as unit of analysis. A web site is a hierarchy of information; layers of web pages are connected through hyperlinks. The size of a web site may vary significantly, there may contain hierarchy of information which is useless for content analysis or research purpose. In choosing a homepage or the entire web site as unit of analysis, the dilemma lies in that homepage usually consists of indices, icons and symbols without much meaningful information (Okaz aki and Rivas, 2002). Too much information may be offered when evaluating the entire site; it could be extremely timeconsuming as well as confusing (Ha and James, 1998). Consequently, it is reasonable and appropriate to limit the unit of analysis to a mea ningfully minimum level instead of scrutinizing the whole site. The unit of analysis for the current study is determined to be the web page containing main menu or index of luxury brands, excluding analysis of hyperlinks. As stated by Okazaki (2005, p. 39), the existence of brand web site features is primarily determined by the main menu or index provided on web page. If the menu/ index included a link labeled as corporate information, the site is coded as having this variable. Nevertheless, in some cas es certain features may not be listed on the main index, the coders were asked to look over the submenu of the web sites.

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50 A total number of 53 luxury brands were chosen because they were referred to in most academic papers on luxury (Kapferer, 1996; Duboi s and Paternault, 1995; Neuno and Quelch, 1998; Nyeck and Roux, 1997; Phau and Prendergast, 2000), and they were listed in Appendix A. Coding schemes were developed with detailed operationalization and definition. All variables were listed in Appendix B, i ncluding brand website features of general, visuals, communication, promotion, interactivity and sales (Carroll, 2001; Riley and Lacroix, 2003 ; Lee et.al, 2004; Seringhaus, 2005); similarity ratings which represents the degree of standardization (Okazaki, 2005, p.97); product category of automobile, fashion, jewelry, handbags and shoes, jewelry and watch; four country image dimensions of innovativeness, design, prestige and workmanship (Roth and Romeo1992, p.480); six different countries of origin: Germany, France, Italy, United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; five cultural dimensions of individualism collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinityfemininity, high and low context (Singh et al., 2003); five genres of authenticity (Gilmore and Pine, 2007), seven elements of image building in authenticity (Beverland, 2005; Beverland et al., 2008), three forms of authenticity and integrated authenticity scale (MacCannell 1973; Beverland, 2005; Gilmore and Pine, 2007; Beverland et al., 2008) Among the 53 luxury brands, all of them have online websites, 25 luxury brands are in English only or other languages except Chinese, while 28 luxury brands have English, Chinese and other languages. Noteworthy is that only 8 websites in the 28 English with Chinese luxury brand websites are adapted, and the remainders (20) are all standardized. In view of the status quo, the results of comparing Englishlanguage and Chinese language are quite limited. Therefore, two groups of luxury brands were com pared in the current research: English with

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51 Chinese language luxury brand websites (n=28) and English without Chinese language luxury brand websites (n=25). Each variable was measured on a nominal scale, and values of or were assigned for answers of Presence or Absence respectively. For some ambiguous situations or something too subjective, it was assigned the value of 2 for answer of cant code. Luxury brands authenticity score was based on this measurement as well, each item was added up to determine the indices for each brand, thus to testify the hypotheses. The only exception was similarity ratings adopted from Okazakis study (2003). The rating was to measure the extent to which luxury brand websites in English standardize in Chinese c ounterparts. So it was on a five point semantic scale, ranging from very different (coded as 1) to very similar (coded as 5) with an intermediate scale point not determinable (coded as 3). The components included company logo, copy, text, layout, col or, photographs (products, models or backgrounds), illustrations, charts, graphs, and interactive images (p.95). Okazakis rating (2003) reliability exceeded the minimum value of 0.80 recommended by Holstis formula and Krippendorffs Alpha and were thus determined to be satisfactory. Current Content Analysis Study Procedure The six research steps to conducting a quantitative content analysis study were: 1. Formulate research hypotheses and questions based on literature review; 2. Select samples: Based on pas t research (Phau and Prendergast, 2000; Wong and Zaichkowsky, 1999; Vigneron and Johnson, 1999), 53 luxury brands included in the study were Louis Vuitton, Porsche, Cartier, Ferrari, Chanel, Dunhill, Hermes, Christian Dior, Gucci, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., Pat ek Philippe, Salvatore Ferragamo, Armani, Mont Blanc, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Hugo Boss, Escada, Celine, S.T. Dupont, Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arpels, Givenchy, YSL, Bally, Christian

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52 Lacroix, Chloe, Nina Ricci, Lanvin, Valentino, Fendi, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabanna, Bottega Veneta, Tods, Prada, Moschino, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Harry Winston, Coach, Cole Haan, Burberry, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Piaget, Tag Heuer, Chopard, Longines, Omega, and Ebel. Countryof origin and product category were classified based on these 53 luxury brands as well. 3. Define categories The categories were exhaustive and mutually exclusive. The websites were analyzed for their general, visuals, promotions, communication, interactivity, and sales features (Riley and Lacroix, 2003). Other detailed a nalysis units followed the framework of Carroll (2001) for the dominant attributes of luxury brands depicted on websites in Chinese and English. In addition, the websites were placed into five product categories: automobile, fashion, handbags and shoes, je welry and watches. As for countryof origin, six countries have chosen which are Germany, France, Italy, US, Switzerland, and UK. To answer which characteristics of Hofstedes and Halls cultural dimensions were presented in English and Chinese luxury br and websites, and the detailed categories and explanations were listed in Appendix B. The unit of analysis was chosen and justified as previously discussed. 4. Outline the coding process In this step, the researcher devised a written code book (Appendix B) and code sheet (Appendix C) then decided two appropriate coders to code. The use of two coders was the most frequent configuration and was a realistic way to establish reliability assessments (Kolbe and Burnett, 1991). Training coders was important in this step, by explaining categories, going over code sheet and code book, doing samples of the content or similar content and revising code sheet/ categories if necessary. There were two coders meetings to go over the materials for

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53 pretesting. The author chose to use the initial training forum for pretesting since the group discussion led to possible issues and judges were able to openly question and reference decisions. Using this approach, the author can fully discover possible problematic latent definitions. After coder training, the coders were asked to use their knowledge from the meeting and the code book to make decisions. If there was something coders cannot decide, the author was available for clarification. Before implementing the primary coding, 6 websites out of 53 samples were used in the pretest to determine the intercoder reliability during initial coders meeting. In order to maintain judge independence, judges did not know each other and they were instructed to work independently but simultaneous ly and not discuss particular coder decisions with each other. Each website was judged by two coders. After the whole samples had been examined, agreements and disagreements between the coders for each website were evaluated to establish individual categor y agreement estimates. 5. Determine reliability and validity Reliability was essential to check the consistency and objectivity of the research, while validity assured that what is measured is what the researcher intended to measure. This step was done at t he same time as step 4. The researcher first used the training session to calculate or test reliability, and when coders actually coded the websites, the researcher used a portion of the sample to test inter coder reliability. More details were conversed in preceding section. As for authenticity scale reliability, the author used proper statistic tools to test the reliability and relation for each item in the scale.

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54 6. Implementation and data analysis In this step, the researcher decided coders to code to gether, and made coders aware of the guidelines or time constraints. SPSS 15.0 and Microsoft Excel were used for data analysis. Frequencies, cross tabulations, differences in proportions, Chi square test, analysis of variance were properly run to address hypotheses and research questions.

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55 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS This chapter first gives the descriptive statistics for luxury brands websites in English with Chinese and English without Chinese. The statistical tests of the hypotheses and research questions are a lso reported. Descriptive Data Analysis The study contained a total of 53 luxury brands websites, with 28 websites are in English with Chinese language and the rest (n= 25) in English without Chinese websites. For those English with Chinese luxury websi tes, coders coded both Englishlanguage version (n=28) and Chinese language version (n=28) to test the hypothesis concerning the extent of standardization. As for the remaining hypotheses, the Chinese language version (n=28) of English with Chinese luxury brands websites is used to compare with the English without Chinese luxury brands websites (coders only coded the English language version, n=25). In regard to product category, there were 18 (34%) fashion luxury brands, and 14 (26%) handbags and shoes. There were seven automobile luxury brands, six jewelry brands, and eight watch brands. As for country of origin, more than half (56.6%) of the sample comes from France (n= 18) and Italy (n= 11). The coding instrument contained twelve sections of website characteristics; all the 53 websites were operational and about 70% required special software to browse the websites. Only 5% of the websites contain information concerning health/safety. Nearly the entire sample lists the information about the company (94%), product (98%), and history (90%). In the section that examines direct marketing, around one fourth of the total sample had online account information, less than 17% contained online ordering and online tracking services. As far as corporate affairs ar e concerned, more than 70% of the websites have a media center (71%), related news (86%), and press releases (83%). About one third (32%) of the sample presents

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56 community related information. Unfortunately, luxury brands websites do not contain much infor mation about issues regarding environmental policy (9%), children (5%) or education (11%). Sales promotions barely exist in luxury websites, and 26% display unrelated advertising, which appeared on the brand websites. In website image management, nearly s ixty percent of the sample show nonperson pictures; more than half have flashing image effects (66%) and moving images or words (54%). Another interesting characteristic is female dominated images (52%), which appeared more than twice as often as male dom inated ones (22%). In regard to website interactive customization, more than 80% of the sample contained whats new section (96%), legal information (92.5%), links to other sites (86.8%), a privacy policy (83%), language variation (83%), and a site map (83 %). For most (98%) luxury brand websites, twoway communication includes email/ contacts us, and around 85% had an email newsletter offerings. What contact information is shown on the websites are the head office (88.7%) and all store locations (88.7%). Luxury brands websites appear to target at their customers (81%), the general public (88.7%), and their media audience (73.6%). Hypotheses and Research Questions The following section discusses the statistical results according to the hypotheses and research questions generated in chapter two. The order is in accordance with the literature review. Standardization vs. Adaptation H1. The Chinese language counterparts in English with Chinese luxury brand websites are highly standardized with the Englishlanguage counterparts. The measurement of the extent of website standardization, namely, the similarity ratings, in Okazakis study (2005) is adopted (Appendix B). Using a five point semantic scale, where 1

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57 means very different and 5 very similar, the extent of we bsite standardization can be examined. Here two groups compared are the Chinese language version (n=28) and the Englishlanguage version (n=28) within the English with Chinese language luxury brand websites (N=56). Two groups are evaluated if they are stan dardized or adapted based on the mean score. When the mean score is higher than the median (=2.5), it means the two groups are standardized. However, if the score is lower than the median, the two groups are adapted. Table 4 2 illustrates the results of th e two groups means and standard deviations. According to Table 42, the results indicate that the mean scores in all similarity ratings are above the median, and the Chinese language counterparts (CHN) in English with Chinese luxury brand websites are hig hly standardized with the Englishlanguage counterparts (ENG). Thus, hypothesis one is supported. Moreover, there are 8 adapted luxury brands within 28 English with Chinese websites. Five out of eight adapted luxury brands are in the product category of au tomobiles, whose countryof origins are in Germany (n=4) and UK (n=1). The other product categories are watches (n=2) and jewelry (n=1), and the country of origin is from US (n=1) and Switzerland (n=2), respectively. Table 43 compares CHN with ENG within the 8 adapted luxury brands websites. Table 4 3 illustrates that the mean scores in all similarity ratings are below the median, except company logo and logo placement, and the Chinese language counterparts (CHN) in English with Chinese adapted luxury bra nd websites are highly adapted with the Englishlanguage counterparts (ENG). Product Category and Website Characteristics The categorization of most referred 53 luxury brands in past research is based on Interbrands Best 100 Brands 2008 and past study. F ive product categories are determined as automobiles, fashion, handbags and shoes, jewelry, and watches. Jewelry is combined with

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58 watches because of small cell sizes. In research question one: will there be significant difference of luxury brands website characteristics across different product categories? To answer the question, all website characteristics are combined as a composite variable. One way ANOVA is used to test the statistical significance of website characteristics by different product catego ries. The finding indicated that theres no statistical significance of website characteristics by different product categories (F= 1.53, p>.05). However, further examination into the details will determine if theres statistical significance of each webs ite characteristic and different product categories. A Chi square test is used to test the statistical significance of website characteristics by different product categories, and Fishers exact test is run to adjust the small cell sizes. Table 4 4 illustrates the results of statistically significant Chi square test showing frequencies, 2 value, p value and degree of freedom. As shown in Table 44, only the automobile product category contains health safety information (2= 10.15, p<.05). In the category of fashion, nearly fifty percent of luxury brands websites contain no unrelated ad vertising (2= 9.57, p<.05). Nonperson images are shown the least on fashion luxury brands websites, whereas all luxury automobile websites employ nonperson images (2= 30.43, p<.05). Female dominated images appear mostly on fashion luxury brands website s, while none exists in the automobile category (2= 24.33, p<.05). Most handbags and shoes, jewelry and watch websites do not contain market segment characteristics (2= 12.02, p<.05). Dropdown menus were absent more often on luxury fashions websites than on other websites (2= 8.02, p<.05). It is concluded that some of the website characteristics varies by different product categories.

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59 Website Standardization, Product Category and Country of Origin In research question two: will there be any difference in t he extent of luxury brand websites standardization by different product category and countryof origin? The author tries to find out if the extent of standardization in luxury brand websites differs by product categories or countryof origin. All item s of the extent of standardization are combined as a composite variable. ANOVA is used to evaluate the group differences across different product categories and country of origins. A Post Hoc test is run to see the difference between product categories and country of origins. The independent variables are product category and countryof origin, and the dependent variable is the extent of standardization in luxury brands websites. Table 45 illustrates the results showing means, standard deviations, ANOVA r esults, Post Hoc, and other results. According to Table 45, statistical significance does exist in the relationships between product category and the extent of standardization (F= 21.65, p<.05). The Post Hoc results indicate that automobile category di ffers from other three product categories. As for different countryof origin, ANOVA results show that there is statistical significant relationships between countryof origin and the extent of standardization (F= 8.96, p<.05). The Post Hoc test cannot be run because two countries (US and UK) have fewer than two brands to compare with other countries. Since there are statistically significant relationships of the extent of standardization, product categories and countryof origin, the author tries to expl ore what items of standardization in luxury brand websites differ by product categories or countryof origin. MANOVA is used to evaluate the group differences across multiple metric dependent variables simultaneously, based on a set of categorical variables as independent variables. The independent variables are product category and countryof origin, and the dependent variable is the extent of

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60 standardization in luxury brands websites. Table 46 to 412 illustrate the results showing means, standard devia tions, ANOVA results, Wilks Lambda, and other results. Standardized discriminant function coefficients are not listed because the websites are highly standardized. The total number for the MANOVA test of standardization and product category is 56. Because English without Chinese (n=25) luxury brands websites do not have Chinese language counterparts to compare the extent of standardization, thus coders do not code the similarity ratings for these 25 websites. Hence, the remaining (n=28) websites in Englis h with Chinese language have two versions, which are CHN and ENG, making the total number 56. The MANOVA test of standardization and product category is divided into three tables: the first deals with copy and text; the second is layout, color, and photogr aph; and the last one is illustration, chart, and interactive images. According to Table 4 6, statistical significance exists in the relationships between product category and website copy and text. No disparity was shown because the websites are highly s tandardized. The results indicate that the product category of automobile is the least standardized while fashion websites are the most standardized. According to Table 47, statistical significance existed in all the relationships between product category and all website similarity ratings in layout, color, and photograph. No disparity was shown because the websites are highly standardized. The results indicate that the product category of automobile is the least standardized while fashion websites are the most standardized. In Table 4 8, thirty one percent of website standardization variance is not explained by main effect of product category (F=3.20*, df= 18, p<.05). Statistical significance existed in all the relationships between product category a nd all website similarity ratings in illustration, chart, and interactive images. No disparity was shown because the websites are highly standardized.

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61 The results indicate again that the product category of automobile is the least standardized while fashio n websites are the most standardized. The total number for the ANOVA test of standardization and countryof origin is also 56. The ANOVA test of standardization and country of origin is divided into three tables: the first deals with logo, copy, and text; the second is layout and photograph; and the last one is illustration, chart, and interactive images. According to Table 49, statistical significance does exist in the relationships between product category and logo, copy and text. No disparity was show n because the websites are highly standardized. The results indicate that the luxury brands websites from country of origin in Germany are the least standardized. Table 4 10 indicates that three relationships between countryof origin and website similarity ratings Likert items are statistically significant. The three items are layout in top half/ right half, major photo product, and major photo background. Again, no disparity was shown because the websites are highly standardized. The results indica te that the country of origin in Germany is the least standardized while France and Italy are the most standardized. Table 4 11 indicates that 6% of website standardization variance is not explained by main effect of countryof origin (F=7.03*, df = 24, p<.05). All the relationships between country of origin and website standardization items in illustration, chart, and interactive images are statistically significant. No disparity was shown because the websites are highly standardized. Also, the results indicate that the country of origin in Germany is the least standardized while France and Italy are the most standardized. The MANOVA test of standardization and the interaction of product category and countryof origin are shown in Table 412. It suggests tha t there are six statistically significant relationships between the interaction and layout, photo and chart in website similarity ratings.

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62 According to Table 412, it is suggested that 45% of website standardization variance is not explained by interacti on between countryof origin and product category (F=3.30*, df = 12, p<.05). In the six significant relationships, the automobile product category and countryof origin for Germany and UK are the least standardized websites. The product category of handbags and shoes and countryof origin for Italy are the least standardized websites. The jewelry product category and country of origin for the US is the least standardized in major photograph of the product. The jewelry product category and countryof origin f or France is the least standardized in relation to a major photograph of the model. The product category of jewelry and countryof origin for France and US are the least standardized in presentation of a major photograph of background. The jewelry product category and countryof origin for France and US are the least standardized in luxury brands websites major chart. Country of Origin There are four kinds of usage in building countryof origin image in the current study: innovativeness, design, prestige and workmanship. To answer hypothesis 2: there will be greater COO image usage among English with Chinese language luxury brand websites than English without Chinese language luxury brand websites, a Chi square test is used to test the statistical signif icance of English with Chinese and English without Chinese languages by countryof origin image usage. Fishers exact test is run for small size cells adjustment. The English version within English with Chinese language luxury brands websites is excluded because it is highly standardized with English version counterparts. The first categorical variable is language: English with Chinese and English without Chinese luxury brands websites, and the second categorical variable is country of origin image building in four dimensions. Table 48 illustrates the results of Chisquare test showing frequencies, value, p value and degree of freedom.

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63 As shown in Table 48, the presence of COO image building four dimensions appears more on English with Chinese websites than English without Chinese websites. There is statistical significance in the relationship be tween prestige and language (2= 6.18, p<.05). It implies that prestige is the most widely applied COO image. The results indicate that nearly sixty percent of luxury brands websites employ prestige to build the COO image, thus can be projected onto the population from which the sample of 53 was taken. Therefore, hypothesis 2 is supported. Cultural Viewpoints The study used a cultural value framework provided by Singh et al. (2003), integrating Hofstedes (1980, 1991) four cultural dimensions and Halls (1976) twodimension models to content analyze the luxury brands websites. Hofstedes four dimensions are individualism collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance and masculinity femininity; in the current research, the dimension of highand low co ntext cultures (Hall, 1967) is also included. The following hypotheses were made based on the literature. H3. English with Chinese language luxury brands websites contain higher levels of collectivism oriented features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites. H4 English with Chinese language luxury brands websites depict higher levels of uncertainty avoidance features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites. H5 English with Chinese language luxury brands webs ites exhibit higher levels of power distance oriented features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites. H6 English without Chinese language luxury brands websites represent higher levels of masculinity oriented features than Englis h with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H7. English with Chinese language luxury brands websites portray higher levels of highcontext oriented features than English without Chinese language luxury brands websites.

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64 H8 English without Chinese language luxury brands websites portray higher levels of low context oriented features than English with Chineselanguage luxury brands websites. To test hypotheses 3 to 8, t tests are used to evaluate if two groups are significantly different according to their means. Here two groups are English with Chinese (n=28) and English without Chinese language (n=25) luxury brands websites. The independent variable is language and the dependent variable is cultural dimensions. Tables 414 illustrates the result s of the two groups t test in cultural dimensions showing means, standard deviations, and t values. According to Table 414, the two mean differences in low context are statistically significant (p<.05). The results indicate that theres difference between the two means, but the mean score of English with Chinese is higher than that of English without Chinese, which contradicts with hypothesis 8. Therefore, it is concluded that hypotheses 3 to 8 are all rejected. Authenticity According to Gilmore and Pine (2007), there are five economic offerings a company sells to a customer, which are commodities, goods, services, experiences, and transformations (p.46), and they frames and explores the possibilities and landscapes of authenticity in five genres: natura l, original, exceptional, referential, and influential authenticity (p.4950). They advise that in any offering appealing to authenticity, one or more of these five genres, and usually all five, are encountered (p.50). Thus, hypotheses 9 to 13 are made. H9 There is no difference of natural authenticity exhibited in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H10. There is no difference of original authenticity displayed in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H11. There is no difference of exceptional authenticity shown in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. H12. There is no difference of ref erential authenticity revealed in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites.

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65 H13. There is no difference of influential authenticity demonstrated in English without Chinese language and English with Chine selanguage luxury brands websites. To test hypotheses 9 to 13, a t test is used to evaluate if two groups are significantly different according to their means. Here two groups are English with Chinese (n=28) and English without Chinese language (n=25) luxury brands websites. The independent variable is language and the dependent variable is authenticity. Tables 4 15 illustrates the results of the two groups t test in five genres of authenticity showing means, standard deviations, and t values. Accordi ng to Table 415, the two mean differences in all five genres of authenticity are not statistically significant (p>.05). The results indicate that the mean score of English without Chinese is no different than that of English with Chinese websites. Thus, hypotheses 9 to 13 cannot be rejected, which means there is no difference of five genres of authenticity exhibited in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites. Authenticity and Cultural Dimensions Images of authenticity enhance consumers acknowledgement of luxury brands core values and traditions and differentiate brands from other mass market commercialized ones. Beverland and Luxton (2005) indicate that cultural sources of communication strategies are wid ely applied to authenticity image building in luxury wine firms integrated marketing communication (IMC) management. However, the relationship between cultural sources and authenticity of luxury brands has not been testified in related research. In resear ch question three: what is the relationship between cultural dimensions and authenticity of luxury brands in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language websites? To answer research question three, a multiple regression test is used to test the statistical significance of cultural dimensions by authenticity. Multiple regression analysis is used to measure the linear association among variables. The independent continuous variables are the six cultural dimensions, and the

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66 dependent continuous variables are the five genres of authenticity. There are five genres of authenticity, which are natural, original, exceptional, referential and influential, and six dimensions of cultural viewpoints, which are collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity, high and low context. The English version within English with Chinese language luxury brands websites is excluded because it is highly standardized with English version counterparts. Table 416, 417, 420, 422 and 423 illust rate the results of the five genres of authenticity by the cultural dimensions multiple regression test showing unstandardized coefficients, standardized coefficients, t ratio, R, R square, and other results. Natural authenticity According to Table 416, among the six items, uncertainty avoidance is the most important variable in predicting natural authenticity, and low context is the second most important predictor variable. There is no statistical significance in cultural dimensions, and there is low cor relation between cultural dimensions and natural authenticity. About 6% of variance in natural authenticity is explained by the six cultural dimensions. Theres no statistical significance of regression equation: natural authenticity = .50+ .00 collectivis m+ .04 uncertainty avoidance+ ( .05) power distance+ ( .12) masculinity+ ( .02) high context+.05 low context. The more collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and low context shown on the luxury websites, the more likely the natural authenticity was shown as well; while the more power distance, masculinity, and high context shown, the less likely the natural authenticity was depicted. Original authenticity According to Table 417, among the six items, low context is the most important variable in predicting o riginal authenticity, and high context is the second most important predictor variable. There is statistical significance in high and low context, and there is moderate correlation between cultural dimensions and original authenticity. About 36% of varianc e in

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67 original authenticity is explained by the six cultural dimensions. Theres statistical significance of regression equation: original authenticity = 1.98+ .12 collectivism+ (.10) uncertainty avoidance+ ( .04) power distance+ ( .10) masculinity+ .52 hi gh context+.37 low context. The more collectivism, high and low context shown on the luxury websites, the more likely the original authenticity was shown as well; while the more uncertainty avoidance, power distance, and masculinity shown, the less likely the original authenticity was depicted. To further explore the relationships of original authenticity, high and low context, a Chi square test is used to test the statistical significance. Fishers exact test is run for small size adjustment. There are fi ve aspects in original authenticity: stress your firsts, which means the brand emphasizing being original and imply uniqueness; revive the past, which means the original real thing being emphasized and something new being introduced; look old, which means the year of brand birth being shown and old element being applied to new products; mix and mash, which means old offerings being mixed and mashed into a single new offering; anti up, which means the offering being against conventional norms, being proceedi ng in time and departing in form from others of the kind (Gilmore and Pine, 2007). Tables 418 and 4 19 illustrate the results of original authenticity by high and low context, which depict Chi square tests showing frequencies, 2 value, p value and degre es of freedom. As shown in Table 418, there are four statistically significant relationships between stress your firsts and high and low context. Around 68% luxury websites which have attention to aesthetic details also stress the brand originality (2= 3.86, p<.05). One hundred percent of websites which stress their firsts contain ranks and numbers showing the growth and importance of the company (2= 11.53, p<.05) and explicit comparisons (low context) (2= 4.10, p<.05),

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68 while 77% of websites which use superlative words and sentences like Worlds largest, The top one, or The leading company stress the brands firsts as well (2= 13.50, p<.05). As for original authenticitys look old, Table 4 19 indicates that more than 82% of luxury brands websit es which integrate old elements with new products have explicit comparisons with other luxury brands (2= 7.35, p<.05). About ninetythree percent of websites which do not have old elements in new products do not use superlative words or sentences (2= 6.10, p<.05). Nearly 85% websites which do not tell an old story into new products do not display terms of use such as return policy, warranty, and other conditions (2= 6.00, p<.05). The results indicate that the relationships between original authenticity, high and low context have statistical significance, thus the findings can be projected onto the population from which the sample of 53 was taken. Exceptional authenticity According to Table 420, among the six items, high context is the most important va riable in predicting exceptional authenticity, and uncertainty avoidance is the second most important predictor variable. There is statistical significance in high context, and there is moderate correlation between cultural dimensions and exceptional authe nticity. About 30% of variance in exceptional authenticity is explained by the six cultural dimensions. Theres statistical significance of regression equation: exceptional authenticity = 2.35+ .05 collectivism+ ( .08) uncertainty avoidance+.12 power dista nce+.08 masculinity+ .49 high context+.05 low context. The more collectivism, power distance, masculinity, high and low context present in luxury brands websites, the more likely it is that exceptional authenticity will be present. The more uncertainty avoidance shown, the less likely it is that exceptional authenticity will be present. To further explore the relationships of exceptional authenticity and high context, a Chi square test is used to test the statistical significance. Fishers exact test is r un for small size

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69 adjustment. Exceptional authenticity have five aspects: be direct and frank, which means the brand interact directly with customers and respond to customers problems directly; focus on uniqueness, which means the unique substances and ra re materials being indicated, unusual features being included in design and customization being implied; go slow, which means mention of handmaking or craft producing and implementation of total quality management; treat as temporary, which means keeping the offerings away from being outdated; be foreign, which means the offering have foreignness, foreign elements, and exotic atmosphere (Gilmore and Pine, 2007). Tables 421 illustrates the results of exceptional authenticity by high context Chi square test showing frequencies, 2 value, p value and degree of freedom. Table 4 21 shows three statistically significant relationships between exceptional authenticity and high context. About ninety four percent of luxury brands websites which use words polite and indirect interact with customers directly and respond to customers problems frankly (2= 8.33, p<.05). Eighty six percent of websites which pay attention to aesthetic details have unusual and unique features included in the websites design (2= 10.16, p<.05). Seventyseven percent of websites which use affective and subjective impressions of tangible aspects of a product do not mention handmaking or craft producing information (2= 4.85, p<.05). The results indicate that the relationships between exceptional authenticity and high context have statistical significance, thus the findings can be projected onto the population from which the sample of 53 was taken. Referential authenticity According to Table 422, power distance is the most important vari able in predicting referential authenticity among the six items, and high context is the second most important predictor variable. There is no statistical significance in six cultural dimensions. There is

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70 moderate correlation between cultural dimensions an d referential authenticity. About 29% of variance in referential authenticity is explained by the six cultural dimensions. Theres statistical significance of regression equation: referential authenticity = 6.76+ .12 collectivism+ ( .08) uncertainty avoida nce+.43 power distance+.19 masculinity+ .55 high context+ .02 low context. The more collectivism, power distance, masculinity, high and low context shown on the luxury websites, the more likely the referential authenticity was shown as well; while the more uncertainty avoidance shown, the less likely the referential authenticity was depicted. Influential authenticity According to Table 423, collectivism is the most important variable in predicting influential authenticity among the six items, and high context is the second most important predictor variable. There is statistical significance in collectivism and high context, and there is moderate correlation between cultural dimensions and influential authenticity. About 33% of variance in influential authe nticity is explained by the six cultural dimensions. Theres statistical significance of regression equation: influential authenticity = .38+ .27 collectivism+ ( .09) uncertainty avoidance+.73 power distance+ ( .03) masculinity+ .68 high context+ .09 low c ontext. The more collectivism, power distance, high and low context shown on the luxury websites, the more likely the influential authenticity was shown as well; while the more uncertainty avoidance and masculinity were shown, the less likely the influenti al authenticity was depicted. To further explore the relationships of influential authenticity, collectivism and high context, a Chi square test is used to test the statistical significance. Fishers exact test is run for small size adjustment. Influentia l authenticity have five aspects: appeal to personal aspiration, which means self image appeal being projected in the personal aspiration; appeal to collective aspiration, which means the brand helps achieve shared aspiration among customers; embrace art,

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71 which means integrating art into products, helping sustain the art development, and connecting art and products; promote a cause, which means a social cause being passionately promoted, and a vision of social performance of the company being shown ; give m eaning, which means imparting meaning into the offerings, calling customers to a higher purpose of social responsibility, showing the connection between the offerings and social performance of the company (Gilmore and Pine, 2007). Tables 424 to 4 27 illus trate the results of five aspects in influential authenticity by cultural dimensions Chi square test showing frequencies, 2 value, p value and degree of freedom. Table 4 31 indicates that there are eight statistically significant relationships between pe rsonal aspiration and cultural dimensions. Around ninety percent of luxury brands websites which emphasize on team and collective work responsibility (2= 3.83, p<.05) and present in country news (2= 7.25, p<.05); seventynine percent of websites with pic tures reflecting uniqueness of the country as national identity (2= 4.16, p<.05); and 87% websites with links to local websites from a particular country (2= 4.71, p<.05) have self image appeal being projected in the personal aspiration. Nearly seventy one percent of websites whose overall humbleness present in company philosophy and corporate information fulfill individual aspiration (2= 5.22, p<.05). As shown in Table 425, there are three statistically significant relationships between collective aspiration, embracing art, and cultural dimensions. More than 95% of websites which do not emphasize on team and collective work responsibility (2= 5.17, p<.05) and country news (2= 4.68, p<.05) do not have self image appeal being projected in the collective aspiration. Eightyfour percent of websites which pay attention to aesthetic details (2= 3.70, p<.05) integrate art into products and help sustain the art development.

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72 There are twelve statistically significant relationships between promoting a cause an d cultural dimensions in Table 4 26. Around seventy to eighty percent of websites which have presence of community policy, giving back to community, and social responsibility policy (2= 6.81, p<.05), online subscriptions or newsletters (2= 7.80, p<.05), emphasis on customers as a family (2= 4.68, p<.05), country news (2= 11.70, p<.05), customer loyalty programs or special membership programs (2= 7.25, p<.05) and links to local websites from a specific country (2=11.06, p<.05) promote a social cause pa ssionately and show a vision of social performance of the company. Regarding the last aspect of influential authenticity--give meaning, the results indicate that 100% of websites which have other countrys news (2= 5.27, p<.05) and links to other local websites from a particular country (2= 4.07, p<.05) impart meaning into the offerings. Ninety percent of luxury brands websites which use indirect expressions (2= 8.69, p<.05) will show the connection between the offerings and social performance of the company. The results indicate that the relationships between influential authenticity, collectivism and high context have statistical significance, thus the findings can be projected onto the population from which the sample of 53 was taken. The seven elements for building the image of authenticity Beverlands work (2005) implied that there are seven elements for building the image of authenticity. The seven elements are: protecting status, which means the identification of status based positioning of luxury brands thus, to retain their equity; real commitments to quality, which means luxury brand history and story related directly to real commitments to production quality; price performance, which means being able to demonstrate actual ongoing product quality and the existence of price premiums; using place as a referent, which means the use of

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73 terroir as a positioning statement and guiding philosophy reinforced a point of uniqueness, granting authenticity to the product; traditional production methods, w hich means the traditional expressions represented the images of craft production; stylistic consistency, which means the brand icon or style illustrates the legend and timelessness of the brand and the intrinsic qualities established over time; history an d culture as referents, which means making links to the past enhances brand sincerity, and communicating authenticity through heritage and links with past events. Hypothesis 14 states that there is no difference of seven elements exhibited in English witho ut Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites to build the image of authenticity. To test hypotheses 14, a t test is used to evaluate if two groups are significantly different according to their means. Here two groups are En glish with Chinese (n=28) and English without Chinese language (n=25) luxury brands websites. The independent variable is language and the dependent variable is seven elements in authenticity. Table 4 28 illustrates the results of the two groups ttest in authenticitys seven elements showing means, standard deviations, and t values. According to Table 428, the two mean differences in seven elements of authenticity are not statistically significant (p>.05). The results indicate that the mean score of sev en elements in English without Chinese is no different from that in English with Chinese websites. Therefore, hypothesis 14 cannot be rejected. Three forms of authenticity Beverland et al. (2008) identify three forms of authenticity: pure (literal) authent icity, approximate authenticity, and moral authenticity (p.5). Pure (literal) authenticity is to provide consumer with in situ guarantee of the genuine article; approximate authenticity is to provide consumer with a feeling that this brand will help achiev e self authentication through connecting

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74 with place and time; moral authenticity is to provide consumer with a feeling that this brand will help achieve self authentication though connecting with personal moral values. Hypothesis 15 stated that pure authe nticity is more exhibited in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language luxury brands websites than approximate and moral authenticity. To compare which form of authenticity exhibited most, a Chi square test is used. Fishers exact test is run for small size cells adjustment. Tables 4 29 illustrates the results of the three forms of authenticity by languages Cross tab showing frequencies, 2 value, p value and degree of freedom. The results indicate that pure authenticity is more exhibited in English with Chinese and English without Chinese language websites than approximate and moral authenticity in these two groups of luxury brands webs ites. Thus, hypothesis 15 is supported. Luxury brands authenticity index According to Beverland et al. (2008), advertising does play a role in reinforcing images of authenticity, and advertisements can effectively communicate three forms of authenticity (p .13). In the same way, the Internet as a network of networks may relate well to the values associated with authenticity (Koiso Kanttila, 2005, p. 66). An integrated authenticity model is built to examine the role of Internet in building the image of authenticity for luxury brands. An authenticity index or scale is built through assigning value to each item in the proposed model, thus hypotheses are testified to compare the score in various aspects of authenticity. Hypothesis 16 stated that luxury brands sc ore lower in natural authenticity than other kinds of authenticity. A simple frequency statistics is run to compare the luxury brands scores in five genres of authenticity. In Table 430, five genres of authenticity scores are compared in means, sums and standard deviation. The results indicate that the mean scores and sum of natural authenticity in English without Chinese and English with Chinese luxury brands websites are lower than the rest four genres of authenticity. In sum, hypothesis 16 is supporte d.

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75 To test hypotheses 17: there is no difference of luxury brands authenticity scale scores in English without Chinese language and English with Chinese language websites, a t test is used to evaluate if two groups are significantly different according to their means. Here two groups are English with Chinese (n=28) and English without Chinese language (n=25) luxury brands websites. The independent variable is language and the dependent variable is authenticity index. Table 4 31 illustrates the results of the two groups t test in authenticity index showing means, standard deviations, and t values. According to Table 431, the two mean differences in authenticity index are not statistically significant (p>.05). The results indicate that the mean score of authenticity index in English without Chinese has no difference from that in English with Chinese luxury brands websites. Therefore, hypothesis 17 cannot be rejected, which means there is no difference of luxury brands authenticity scale scores in English wi th and without Chinese language websites. In addition to the above hypotheses testing, the following tables describe authenticity index in detail concerning the product category and countryof origin. Tables 432 and 433 illustrate the descriptive results of authenticity index scores in different product category and countryof origin. According to Table 432, watches have the highest authenticity index score means, and the second high is handbags and shoes, while the lowest is automobiles. The highest and lowest scores both fall in the category of handbags and shoes. Watches have the highest minimum and mean score. Fashion and jewelry share the same mean scores in authenticity scale. In Table 4 33, Switzerland has the highest means in authenticity index scores, and UK is the second highest country. The United States score lowest in means of authenticity index and in maximum scores.

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76 However, France and Italy have the highest maximum scores while Germany has the lowest. As for minimum scores, Switzerland has the highest whereas France has the lowest. Moreover, the author tries to find out if the authenticity index differs by product categories or country of origin. One way ANOVA is used to evaluate the group differences across different product categories and countryof origins. A Post Hoc test is run to see the difference of each product category and each countryof origin. The independent variables are product category and countryof origin, and the dependent variable is the authenticity index in luxury brands websites. Table 4 34 illustrates the results showing means, standard deviations, ANOVA results, Post Hoc, and other results. According to Table 434, statistical significance does exist in the relationships between countryof origin and the authenticity index (F= 3.64, p<.05). The Post Hoc results indicate that Germany differs from France and Switzerland. As for different product categories, one way ANOVA does not show any statistical significance in the authenticity index (F= 1.03, p>.05). The Post Hoc test neither shows any product category differences.

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77 Table 4 1. Website Characteristics Website characteristics Frequency (N= 53) Percentage 1. Operations Is website operational? Is specialized software required? 53 38 100.0 71.7 2. Advertising/company specific Logos About us Divisional/product/category Careers Health/safety History 37 50 52 16 3 48 69.8 94.3 98.1 30.2 5.7 90.6 3. Advertising/ product Product list buttons Brands Prices Ne arest dealer 52 7 8 21 98.1 13.2 15.1 39.6 4. Direct marketing Customer service Catalogues Online account information Online ordering Online tracking 39 22 13 9 7 73.6 41.5 24.5 17.0 13.2 5. Corporate affairs Press releases News related News unrelated Media centre/pack Annual reports Info financials Stock quotes Other shareholder Sponsors Causes Environmental policy information Community related information Educational Children Career opportunities section 44 46 19 38 16 22 6 6 9 17 5 17 3 6 12 83.0 86.8 35.8 71.7 30.2 41.5 11.3 11.3 17.0 32.1 9.4 32.1 5.7 11.3 22.6

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78 Table 4 1. Continued 6. Sales promotion General promotions Free gifts Games and sweepstakes Coupons Unrelated advertising 4 0 2 0 14 7.5 0.0 3.8 0.0 26.4 7. Web site/images Non person Continuous Females Males Flashing Moving images or words 31 22 28 12 35 29 58.5 41.5 52.8 22.6 66.0 54.7 8. Web site/interactive customized Whats new section Market segmentation Search Site maps Drop down menu Links to other sites Banner/button adverts Interstitials Staff email/phonebook directory User ID/password 51 13 22 44 22 46 6 29 9 10 96.2 24.5 41.5 83.0 41.5 86.8 11.3 54.7 17.0 18.9 9. Web site/issues Help section FAQ Legal Privacy policy Language variations 37 26 49 44 44 69.8 49.1 92.5 83.0 83.0 10. Web site/two way communications Email/contact us Email newsletters offering Surveys Q uizzes Signups 52 45 0 0 19 98.1 84.9 0.0 0.0 35.8 11. What contact information is shown Webmaster Head office Department address 15 47 37 28.3 88.7 69.8

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79 Table 4 1. Continued 12. Websites targeted audiences General public Cu stomers Local community Graduates/prospective employees Employees/contractors Shareholders/investors/stock exchange Suppliers/distributors/wholesalers/retailers Media 47 43 19 9 1 11 7 39 88.7 81.1 35.8 17.0 1.9 20.8 13.2 73.6

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80 Table 4 2. Standardization Mean Scores Standardization Language Mean Std. deviation Company logo CHN ENG 4.71 1.05 Logo placement CHN ENG 4.46 1.35 Major copy CHN ENG 4.07 1.65 Copy placement CHN ENG 4.07 1.65 Major text CHN ENG 3.82 1.76 Text placement CHN ENG 4.07 1.65 Layout in top half/ right half CHN ENG 3.68 1.83 Layout in bottom half/ left half CHN ENG 3.82 1.76 Color in top half/ right half CHN ENG 4.07 1.65 Color in bottom half/ left half CHN ENG 4.07 1.65 Major photog raph product CHN ENG 3.54 1.88 Major photograph model CHN ENG 3.79 1.81 Major photograph background CHN ENG 3.64 1.87 Major illustration CHN ENG 3.75 1.86 Major chart CHN ENG 3.75 1.86 Interactive image flash CHN ENG 3.75 1.86 Interac tive image pop ups CHN ENG 3.86 1.84 Interactive image animated banners CHN ENG 3.75 1.86 Interactive image layers CHN ENG 3.86 1.84 N= 56

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81 Table 4 3. Adapted Luxury Brands Website Mean Scores Standardization Language Mean Std. deviation C ompany logo CHN ENG 4.00 1.85 Logo placement CHN ENG 3.13 2.03 Major copy CHN ENG 1.75 1.39 Copy placement CHN ENG 1.75 1.39 Major text CHN ENG 1.25 .46 Text placement CHN ENG 1.75 1.39 Layou t in top half/ right half CHN ENG 1.13 .35 Layout in bottom half/ left half CHN ENG 1.63 1.41 Color in top half/ right half CHN ENG 2.13 1.81 Color in bottom half/ left half CHN ENG 2.13 1.81 Major photograph product CHN ENG 1.13 .35 Ma jor photograph model CHN ENG 1.63 1.41 Major photograph background CHN ENG 1.13 .35 Major illustration CHN ENG 1.13 .35 Major chart CHN ENG 1.50 1.41 Interactive image flash CHN ENG 1.13 .35 Interactive image pop ups CHN ENG 1.50 1.41 Interactive image animated banners CHN ENG 1.13 .35 Interactive image layers CHN ENG 1.50 1.41 N= 16.

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82 Table 4 4. Website Characteristics by Product Category Website characteristics Product category 2 p Automobile Fa shion Handbags and shoes Jewelry and watch Total Health absence 4 18 14 14 50 10.15* .00 safety 8.0% 36.0% 28.0% 28.0% 100.0% presence 3 0 0 0 3 100.0% .0% .0% .0% 100.0% Unrelated absence 3 17 11 8 39 9.57* .02 advertising 7.7% 43.6% 28.2% 20.5% 100.0% presence 4 1 3 6 14 28.6% 7.1% 21.4% 42.9% 100.0% Nonperson absence 0 15 7 0 22 30.43* .00 .0% 68.2% 31.8% .0% 100.0% presence 7 3 7 14 31 22.6% 9.7% 22.6% 45.2% 100.0% Female absence 7 2 5 11 25 24.33* .00 28.0% 8.0% 20.0% 44.0% 100.0% presence 0 16 9 3 28 .0% 57.1% 32.1% 10.7% 100.0% Market absence 2 12 13 13 40 12.02* .00 segment 5.0% 30.0% 32.5% 32.5% 100.0% presence 5 6 1 1 13 38.5% 46.2% 7.7% 7.7% 100.0% Dropdown absence 1 13 10 7 31 8.02* .04 3.2% 41.9% 32.3% 22.6% 100.0% presence 6 5 4 7 22 27.3% 22.7% 18.2% 31.8% 100.0% d.f = 3, *p<.05

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83 Table 4 5. ANOVA and Post Hoc Results of Standardization, Product Category, and Countryof Origin Product category d.f Sum of squares Mean square F Sig. Standardization auto 3 17314.56 5771.52 21.65* .00 fashion handbags and shoes jewelry and watch Country of Origin Germany 5 15904.66 3180.93 8.96* .00 France Italy US UK Switzerland Sig. Post Hoc auto fashion .00 Scheffe handbags and shoes .00 jewelry and watch .00 fashion auto .00 handbags and shoes .99 jewelry and watch .22 handbags and shoes auto .00 fashion .99 jewelry and watch .24 jewelry and watch auto .00 fashion .22 handbags and shoes .24 *p<.05

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84 Table 4 6. MANOVA Results of Standardization and Product Category I Standardization Product category N Mean Std. deviation Sum of squares d.f Mean square F Sig. Major copy auto 10 1.20 .42 9.00 3 3.00 9.38* .00 fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 4.30 1.49 Total 56 4.07 1.65 Copy placement auto 10 1.00 .00 16.00 3 5.33 16.67* .00 fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 4.40 1.26 Total 56 4.07 1.65 Major text auto 10 1.20 .43 16.30 3 5.43 5.21* .00 fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 4.63 1.03 jewelry and watch 20 3.90 1.79 Total 56 3.82 1.76 Text placement auto 10 1.20 .42 16.00 3 5.33 7.52* .00 fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 4.30 1.49 Total 56 4.07 1.65 *p<.05

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85 Table 4 7. MANOVA Results of Standardization and Product Category II Standardization Product catego ry N Mean Std. deviation Sum of squares d.f Mean square F Sig. Layout in top auto 10 1.00 .00 25.07 3 8.36 8.87* .00 half/ right half fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 4.63 1.02 Jewelry and watch 20 3.60 1.84 Total 5 6 3.68 1.83 Layout in bottom auto 10 1.00 .00 25.07 3 8.36 8.87* .00 half/ left half fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 4.63 1.02 jewelry and watch 20 4.00 1.63 Total 56 3.82 1.76 Color in top auto 10 1.20 .42 10.10 3 3.37 4.03* .01 half/ right half fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 4.30 1.49 Total 56 4.07 1.65 Color in bottom auto 10 1.20 .42 10.10 3 3.37 4.03* .01 half/ left half f ashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 4.30 1.49 Total 56 4.07 1.65 Major photo auto 10 1.00 .00 28.27 3 9.42 6.35* .00 product fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 4.25 1.34 jewelry and watch 20 3.50 1.96 Total 56 3.54 1.88 Major photo auto 10 1.00 .00 25.01 3 8.34 7.25* .00 model fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 4.63 1.02 jewelry and watch 20 3.90 1.79 Total 56 3 .79 1.81 Major photo auto 10 1.00 .00 25.01 3 8.34 7.25* .00 background fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 4.63 1.02 jewelry and watch 20 3.50 1.96 Total 56 3.64 1.87 *p<.05

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86 Table 4 8. MANOVA Results of Standardization and Product Category III Standardization Product category N Mean Std. deviation Sum of squares d.f Mean square F Sig. Major illustration auto 10 1.00 .00 17.95 3 5.99 5.21* .00 fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 3.50 1.96 Total 56 3.75 1.86 Major chart auto 10 1.00 .00 25.01 3 8.34 7.99* .00 fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 4.63 1.02 jewelry and watch 20 3.80 1.93 Total 56 3. 75 1.86 Interactive image auto 10 1.00 .00 17.95 3 5.99 5.21* .00 flashing fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 3.50 1.96 Total 56 3.75 1.86 Interactive image auto 10 1.00 .00 17.95 3 5.99 5.74* .00 popup fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 3.80 1.93 Total 56 3.86 1.84 Interactive image auto 10 1.00 .00 17.95 3 5.99 5.21* .00 animated fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 3.50 1.96 Total 56 3.75 1.86 Interactive image auto 10 1.00 .00 17.95 3 5.99 5.74* .00 layers fashion 10 5.00 .00 handbags and shoes 16 5.00 .00 jewelry and watch 20 3.80 1.93 Total 56 3.86 1.84 pc Wilks Lambda Value F Hypothesis df. Error df Sig. .31 3.20* 18.00 113.62 .00 *p<.05

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87 Table 4 9. MANOVA Results of Website Standardization and CountryOf Origin I Standardization Coun try of origin n Mean Std. deviation Sum of squares d.f Mean square F Sig. Logo placement Germany 8 2.00 1.85 14.40 4 3.60 4.22* .01 France 24 5.00 .00 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 5.00 .00 UK 4 5.00 .00 Switzerland 10 4.40 1.26 Total 56 4.46 1.33 Major copy Germany 8 1.00 .00 26.24 4 6.56 20.50* .00 France 24 5.00 .00 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.50 1.73 Switzerland 10 4.40 1.26 Total 56 4.07 1.64 Copy placem ent Germany 8 1.00 .00 13.86 4 3.47 10.83* .00 France 24 5.00 .00 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 2.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 4.40 1.26 Total 56 4.07 1.64 Major text Germany 8 1.25 .46 24.31 4 6.07 5.83* .00 France 24 4.75 .85 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 3.60 1.84 Total 56 3.82 1.74 *p<.05

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88 Table 4 10. MANOVA Results of Website Standardization and CountryOf Origin II Standardiz ation Country of origin N Mean Std. deviation Sum of squares d.f Mean square F Sig. Layout in top Germany 8 1.00 .00 25.53 4 6.38 6.77* .00 half/ right half France 24 4.75 .85 Italy 8 4.25 1.39 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 3.60 1.84 Total 56 3.68 1.81 Major photo Germany 8 1.00 .00 22.73 4 5.68 3.83* .01 product France 24 4.41 1.35 Italy 8 4.25 1.39 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 3.60 1.84 Tot al 56 3.53 1.86 Major photo Germany 8 1.00 .00 22.76 4 5.69 4.95* .00 background France 24 4.66 1.13 Italy 8 4.25 1.39 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 3.60 1.84 Total 56 3.64 1.85 *p<.05

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89 Table 411. MANOVA Results of Website Standardization and CountryOf Origin III Standardization Country of origin N Mean Std. deviation Sum of squares d.f Mean square F Sig. Major illustration Germany 8 1.00 .00 16.83 4 4.21 3.66* .01 France 24 4.66 1.13 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 3.60 1.84 Total 56 3.75 1.84 Major chart Germany 8 1.00 .00 22.76 4 5.69 5.46* .00 France 24 4.66 1.13 Italy 8 4.25 1.39 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 4.20 1.69 Total 56 3.75 1.84 Interactive image Germany 8 1.00 .00 16.83 4 4.21 3.66* .01 flashing France 24 4.66 1.13 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 3.60 1.84 Total 56 3.75 1.84 Interactive image Germany 8 1.00 .00 16.83 4 4.21 4.03* .01 popup France 24 4.66 1.12 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 4.20 1.69 Total 56 3.85 1.82 Interactive image Germany 8 1.00 .00 16.83 4 4.21 3.66* .01 animated France 24 4.66 1.13 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 3.60 1.84 Total 56 3.75 1.84 Inter active layers Germany 8 1.00 .00 16.83 4 4.21 4.03* .01 France 24 4.66 1.13 Italy 8 5.00 .00 US 2 1.00 .00 UK 4 3.00 2.31 Switzerland 10 4.20 1.69 Total 56 3.85 1.82 COO Wilks Lambda Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. .06 7.03 24.00 140.75 .00 *p<.05

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90 Table 4 12. MANOVA Results of Interaction (pc*coo) Standardiza tion product category coo Mean Std. deviation N Sum of squares df Mean square F Sig. Layout in auto G 1.00 .00 8 14.57 2 7.29 7.7 3* .00 top half/ UK 1.00 .00 2 right half fashion France 5.00 .00 6 Italy 5.00 .00 4 handbags and shoes France 5.00 .00 12 Italy 2.00 .00 2 UK 5.00 .00 2 jewelry France 4.00 1.55 6 Italy 5.00 .00 2 US 1.00 .00 2 watch Sw 3.60 1.84 10 Layout in auto G 1.00 .00 8 14.57 2 7.29 7.73* .00 bottom half/ UK 1.00 .00 2 left half fashion France 5.00 .00 6 Italy 5.00 .00 4 handbags and shoes France 5.00 .00 12 Italy 2.00 .00 2 UK 5.00 .00 2 jewelry France 4.00 1.55 6 Italy 5.00 .00 2 US 5.00 .00 2 watch Sw 3.60 1.84 10 Major photo auto G 1.00 .00 8 12.45 2 6.23 4.20* .02 product UK 1.00 .00 2 fashion France 5.00 .00 6 Italy 5.00 .00 4 handbags and shoes France 4.50 1.17 12 Italy 2.00 .00 2 UK 5.00 .00 2 jewelry France 3.67 2.07 6 Italy 5.00 .00 2 US 1.00 .00 2 w atch Sw 3.60 1.84 10 Major photo auto G 1.00 .00 8 16.34 2 8.17 7.11* .00 model UK 1.00 .00 2 fashion France 5.00 .00 6 Italy 5.00 .00 4 handbags and shoes France 5.00 .00 12 Italy 2.00 .00 2 UK 5.00 00 2 jewelry France 3.67 2.07 6 Italy 5.00 .00 2 US 5.00 .00 2 watch Sw 3.60 1.84 10

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91 Table 4 12. Continued Major photo auto G 1.00 .00 8 16.34 2 8.17 7.11* .00 background UK 1.00 .00 2 fashion France 5.00 .00 6 Italy 5.00 .00 4 handbags and shoes France 5.00 .00 12 Italy 2.00 .00 2 UK 5.00 .00 2 jewelry France 3.67 2.07 6 Italy 5.00 .00 2 US 1.00 .00 2 watc h Sw 3.60 1.84 10 Major auto G 1.00 .00 8 16.34 2 8.17 7.11* .00 chart UK 1.00 .00 2 fashion France 5.00 .00 6 Italy 5.00 .00 4 handbags and shoes France 5.00 .00 12 Italy 2.00 .00 2 UK 5.00 .00 2 jewelry France 3.66 2.07 6 Italy 5.00 .00 2 US 1.00 .00 2 watch Sw 4.20 1.69 10 Pc*coo Wilks Lambda Value .45 F 3.30* Hypo. df 12.00 Error df. 80.00 Sig. .00 *p<.05

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92 Table 4 13. Languages by COO Image COO image usage Languages Total 2 P E/ w C E/ no C Innovativeness Absence 1 3 4 1.35 .33 25.0% 75.0% 100.0% Presence 27 22 49 55.1% 49.9% 100.0% Design Absence 0 0 0 X X 0% 0% 0% Presence 28 25 53 52.8% 47.2% 100% Prestige Absen ce 0 5 5 6.18* .02 0% 100% 100% Presence 28 20 48 58.3% 41.7% 100% Workmanship Absence 4 7 11 1.51 .31 36.4% 63.6% 100% Presence 24 18 42 57.1% 42.9% 100% d.f = 1, *p<.05

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93 Table 4 14. Cultural Dimensions T test N= 53, d.f = 51, *p< .05 Table 4 15. Five Genres of Authenticity T test N= 53, d.f = 51 Table 4 16. Natural Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoi nts B Beta t ratio Sig. Constant .50 1.38 .18 Collectivism .00 .02 .08 .93 Uncertainty avoidance .04 .13 .71 .48 Power distance .05 .09 .48 .64 Masculinity .12 .20 1.11 .27 High context .02 .02 .13 .90 Low context .05 .11 .62 .54 R= .21, R 2 = .05, F (6, 46) = .37, N= 53. Cultural dimens ions N Mean Std. deviation t value Sig Collectivism E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 2.71 2.64 2.19 2.84 .11 .92 Uncertainty avoidance E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 3.71 3.12 1.54 2.47 1.06 .29 Power distance E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 3.54 3.20 .88 1.22 1.15 .25 Masculinity E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 1.32 1.12 .90 .88 .82 .42 High context E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 2.71 2.44 .53 .82 1.46 .15 Low context E / w C E/ no C 28 25 2.19 1.44 1.08 1.42 2.46* .02 Five genres of authenticity N Mean Std. deviation t value Sig Natural authenticity E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 .29 .48 .46 .5 9 1.35 .18 Original authenticity E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 3.89 3.56 .99 1.12 1.15 .26 Exceptional authenticity E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 4.25 3.84 .70 .90 1.86 .07 Referential authenticity E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 3.96 3.76 1.45 1.64 .48 .63 Influential authenticity E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 3.14 2.68 1.33 1.38 1.25 .22

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94 Table 4 17. Original Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints B Beta t ratio Sig. Constant 1.98 3.31 .00 Collectivism .12 .27 1.52 .14 Uncertainty avoidance .10 .19 1.21 .23 Power distance .04 .04 .25 .80 Masculinity .10 .09 .58 .57 High context .52 .34 2.68* .01 Low context .37 .46 3.07* .00 R= .60, R 2 = .36, F (6, 46) = 4.31*, N= 53. *p<.05 Table 4 18. Original Authenticity by High and Low Context --Stress Your Firsts Original authenticity Stress your firsts Total 2 P Absence Presence High context Absence 6 3 9 3.86* .05 aesthetic 66.7% 33.3% 100.0% Presence 14 30 44 31.8% 68.2% 100.0% Low context Absence 20 19 39 11.53* .00 ranks 51.3% 48.7% 100.0% Presence 0 14 14 0% 100. 0% 100.0% comparisons Absence 20 27 47 4.10* .04 42.6% 57.4% 100.0% Presence 0 6 6 0% 100.0% 100.0% superlatives Absence 11 3 14 13.50* .00 78.6% 21.4% 100.0% Presence 9 30 39 23.1% 76.9% 100.0% d.f = 1, *p<.05

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95 Table 4 19. Original Authenticity by High and Low Context --Look Old Original authenticity Revive the past Total 2 P Absence Presence Low context Absence 34 13 47 7.35* .01 comparisons 72.3% 27.7% 100.0% Presence 1 5 6 16.7% 83.3% 100.0% superlatives Absence 13 1 14 6.10* .01 92.9% 7.1% 100.0% Presence 22 17 39 56.4% 43.6% 1 00.0% terms of use Absence 18 3 21 6.00* .01 85.7% 14.3% 100.0% Presence 17 15 32 53.1% 46.9% 100.0% d.f = 1, *p<.05 Table 4 20. Exceptional Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints B Beta t ratio Sig. Constant 2.35 4.84 00 Collectivism .05 .15 .78 .45 Uncertainty avoidance .08 .20 1.25 .22 Power distance .12 .16 .96 .34 Masculinity .08 .08 .52 .61 High context .49 .42 3.15* .00 Low context .0 5 .07 .47 .64 R= .55, R 2 = .30, F (6, 46) = 3.23*, N= 53. *p<.05

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96 Table 4 21. Exceptional Authenticity by High Context High context Polite and indirect Total 2 P Absence Presence Exceptional Absence 2 2 4 8.33* .04 be dire ct and 50.0% 50.0% 100.0% frank Presence 3 46 49 6.1% 93.9% 100.0% Aesthetic unique Absence 2 0 2 10.16* .03 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% Presence 7 44 51 13.7% 86.3% 100.0% Soft sell go slow Absence 8 27 35 4.85* .04 22.9% 77.1% 100.0% Presence 0 18 18 0.0% 100.0% 100.0% d.f = 1, *p<.05 Table 4 22. Referential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints B Beta t ratio Sig. Constant 6.76 .74 .46 Collec tivism .12 .20 1.05 .30 Uncertainty avoidance .08 .10 .61 .54 Power distance .43 .30 1.80 .08 Masculinity .19 .11 .69 .50 High context .55 .25 1.86 .07 Low context .02 .02 .09 .93 R= .54, R 2 = .29, F (6, 46) = 3.11*, N= 53. *p<.05 Table 4 23. Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints B Beta t ratio Sig. Constant .38 .48 .63 Collectivism .27 .50 2.71* .01 Uncertaint y avoidance .09 .14 .86 .40 Power distance .73 .06 .35 .73 Masculinity .03 .02 .14 .89 High context .68 .35 2.68* .01 Low context .09 .09 .59 .56 R= .57, R 2 = .33, F (6, 46) = 3.75*, N= 53. *p<.05

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97 Table 4 24. Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints --Personal Aspiration Influential authenticity Personal aspiration Total 2 P Absence Presence Collectivism Absence 17 25 42 3.83* .05 family theme 40.5% 59.5% 100.0% Presence 1 10 11 9.1% 90.9% 100.0% country Absence 16 18 34 7.25* .01 news 47.1% 52.9% 100.0% Presence 2 17 19 10.5% 89.5% 100.0% national Absence 12 13 25 4.16* .04 identity 48.0% 52.0% 100.0% Presence 6 22 28 21.4% 78.6% 100.0% links to local Absence 16 21 37 4.71* .03 websites 43.2% 56.8% 100.0% Presence 2 14 16 12.5% 87.5% 100.0% High context Absence 4 1 5 5.22* .02 polite and 80.0% 20.0% 100.0% indirect Presence 14 34 48 29.2% 70.8% 100.0% d.f = 1, *p<.05

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98 Table 4 25. Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints --Collective Aspiratio n and Embrace Art Influential authenticity Collective aspiration Total 2 P Absence Presence Collectivism Absence 40 2 42 5.17* .02 family theme 95.2% 4.8% 100.0% Presence 8 3 11 72.7% 27.3% 100.0% country Absence 33 1 34 4.68* .03 news 97.1% 2.9% 100.0% Presence 15 4 19 78.9% 22.1% 100.0% Embrace art High context Absence 4 5 9 3.70* .05 aesthetic 44.4% 55.6% 100.0% Presence 7 37 44 15.9% 84.1% 100.0% d.f = 1, *p<.05

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99 Table 4 26. Influential Authenticity by Cultural Viewpoints --Promote a Cause Influential authenticity Promote a cause Total 2 P Absence Presence Collectivism Absence 21 14 35 6.81* .01 community 60.0% 40.0% 100.0% relations Presence 4 14 18 22.2% 77.8% 100.0% newsletter Absence 17 9 26 7.80* .01 65.4% 34.6% 100.0% Presence 8 19 27 29.6% 70. 4% 100.0% family theme Absence 23 19 42 4.68* .03 54.8% 45.2% 100.0% Presence 2 9 11 18.2% 81.8% 100.0% country news Absence 22 12 34 11.70* .00 64.7% 35.3% 100.0% Presence 3 16 19 15.8% 84.2% 100.0% loyalty Absence 19 11 30 7.25* .01 programs 63.3% 36.7% 100.0% Presence 6 17 23 26.1% 73.9% 100.0% links to local Absence 23 14 37 11.06* .00 62.2% 37.8% 100.0% Presence 2 14 16 12.5% 87.5% 100.0% d.f = 1, *p<.05

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100 Table 4 27. Influential A uthenticity by Cultural Viewpoints --Give Meaning Influential authenticity Give meaning Total 2 P Absence Presence Collectivism Absence 8 26 34 5.27* .02 country news 23.5% 76.5% 100.0% Presence 0 19 19 0% 100.0% 100.0% link s to local Absence 8 29 37 4.07* .04 21.6% 78.4% 100.0% Presence 0 16 16 0% 100.0% 100.0% High context Absence 3 2 5 8.69* .00 polite and 60.0% 40.0% 100.0% indirect Presence 5 43 48 10.4% 89.6% 100.0% d.f = 1, *p<.05 Table 4 28. Authenticity Seven Elements T test N= 53, d.f = 51, *p< .05 Authenticity seven elements N Mean Std. deviation t value Sig Protecting status E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 1.00 .92 .00 .28 1.45 .08 Real commitments to quality E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 1.00 .96 .00 .20 1.00 15 Price performance E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 .61 .52 .50 .51 .63 .26 Using place as a referent E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 .79 .80 .42 .41 1.13 .45 Traditional production method E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 .75 .64 .44 .49 .86 .21 Stylistic consist ency E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 1.00 1.00 .00 .00 X X History and culture as referents E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 .93 .84 .26 .37 .99 .15

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101 Table 4 29. Authenticity Three Forms by Languages Three forms Language Total 2 p English/w Chinese English/no Chinese Pure Absence 0 5 5 6.18* .02 authenticity 0.0% 100.0% 100.0% Presence 28 20 48 58.3% 41.7% 100.0% Approximate Absence 14 11 25 .19 .79 authenticity 56.0% 44.0% 100.0% Presence 14 14 2 8 50.0% 50.0% 100.0% Moral Absence 21 19 40 .01 1.00 authenticity 52.5% 47.5% 100.0% Presence 7 6 13 53.8% 46.2% 100.0% *p<.05; N=53

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102 Table 4 30. Five Genres of Authenticity Scores Comparison N=53 Table 4 31. Authenticity Index T test N= 53, d.f = 5 1, *p< .05 Table 4 32. Authenticity Index in Different Product Category N=53 Table 4 33. Authenticity Index in Different Countryof Origin Country of origin N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. deviation Germany 6 9.00 17.00 18.83 3.43 France 18 5.00 26.00 19.78 5.21 Italy 12 14.00 26.00 19.58 3.96 US 4 13.00 20.00 15.75 3.40 UK 5 16.00 24.00 20.40 2.88 Switzerland 8 19.00 25.00 22.13 1.81 N=53 Five genres of authenticity Mean Sum Std. deviation Natural authenticity .37 20.00 .53 Original authenticity 3.74 198.00 1.06 Exceptional authenticity 4.06 215.00 .82 Referential authenticity 3.87 205.00 1.53 Influential authenticity 2.92 155.00 1.36 Pure authenticity 2.51 133.00 .64 Approximate authenticity 1.70 90.00 .46 Authenticity index N Mean Std. deviation t value Sig Authenticity index E/ w C E/ no C 28 25 19.89 18.36 4.25 4.87 1.22 .11 Product category N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. deviation Automobiles 7 10.00 24.00 17.14 4.41 Fashion 18 9.00 23.00 18.83 4.23 Handbags and shoes 14 5.00 26.00 19.07 6.09 Jewel ry 6 14.00 23.00 18.83 3.43 Watches 8 19.00 25.00 22.13 1.81

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103 Table 4 34. ANOVA and Post Hoc Results of Authenticity Index, Product Category and Countryof Origin Product category/ Country of origin Sig. d.f Sum of squares Mean square F Sig. Authenticity automobiles 3 64.33 21.44 1.03 .39 index fashion handbags and shoes jewelry and watch Germany 5 303.79 60.76 3.64* .01 France Italy US UK Switzerland Post Hoc Germany France .04 Scheffe Italy .07 US .98 UK .10 Switzerland .01 France Germany .04 Italy 1.00 US .49 UK 1.00 Switzerland .75 Italy Germany .07 France 1.00 US .59 UK 1.00 Switzerland .75 US Germany .98 France .49 Italy .59 UK .54 Switzerland .13 UK Germany .10 France 1.00 Italy 1.00 US .54 Switzerland .98 Switzerland Germany .01 France .75 Italy .75 US .13 UK .98 *p<.05

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104 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION The goal of the current study is to explore luxury brand websites in Chinese and English language in terms of website characteristics, standardization versus adaptation, product category, countryof origin, c ultural viewpoints and authenticity. This chapter offers discussion about research findings, conclusions, managerial implications, limitations of the study, and directions for future research. Discussions of Research Findings The sample is made up of tw o groups of luxury brand websites to compare in the study: 28 English with Chinese language websites and 25 English websites without Chinese language versions. Over half of the sample is in the category of fashion and handbags and shoes. France and Italy a re the major countries of origin for luxury brands. Descriptive Results Twelve sections of website characteristics are content analyzed. All websites were operational and required special software to browse. Nearly the entire sample lists company history and product information, but very little information about health / safety and product price is shown on websites. Customer service is valued in direct marketing, while most luxury brands do not have online ordering and tracking services. This implies that most luxury brands still depend on traditional means to sell their products to customers. As for the section on corporate affairs, luxury brand websites contain media centers, related news and available press releases online. Also approximately one third of the sites have community related information. Interestingly, luxury brands pay scarce attention to environmental policy, children and education. Sales promotion, including general promotion, free gifts, games and sweepstakes, coupons and unrelated adver tising, do not exist in luxury websites.

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105 Regarding website image management, over half of luxury brand websites exhibit nonperson pictures, flashing effects and moving images or words. Female dominated images appeared twice as often as male dominated ones on luxury websites. As far as website interactive customization is concerned, whats new information, legal regulation, privacy policy, links to other sites, language variation and site map are equally emphasized. Email is the most common two way communi cation for luxury brands, and email newsletter offerings are frequently presented for updating customers brand information. Head office and all outlet location are what contact information demonstrated on the websites. The general public, as well as custo mers, are luxury brand websites target audiences. Discussion of Hypotheses and Research Questions Standardization versus adaptation In examining standardization versus adaptation, hypothesis one is supported and the results indicate that the Chinese langua ge counterparts in English with Chinese luxury brand websites are highly standardized with the Englishlanguage counterparts. There were eight adapted luxury brands websites within the 28 English with Chinese luxury brand websites. It is interesting to see that these eight luxury brands mostly are in the automobile product category whose country of origin was from Germany. Of the eight highly adapted luxury websites, company logo and logo placement are two characteristics highly standardized. Product cate gory and countryof origin Regarding product category and countryof origin, significant differences of luxury brand websites characteristics were found across different product categories. The product category of automobiles, which is the only one that contained health / safety information, employs nonperson images and non female dominated images. It contains more clear market consumers

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106 segment and dropdown menu than other product categories. In the product category of fashion, the websites do not contai n unrelated news articles or unrelated advertising. Moreover, statistical significance is found in the extent of luxury brand websites standardization by different product category and countryof origin. Two groups compared here are English language part (ENG) and Chinese language part (CHN) within English with Chinese luxury brand websites. The main effect of countryof origin explains most of website standardization variance. The results indicate that the country of origin in Germany is the least standar dized whereas France and Italy are the most standardized. The results echo findings in the eight adapted luxury brands websites. As for the interaction between countryof origin and product category, it explains least of website standardization variance. The findings suggest that the product category of jewelry and countryof origin in the US and France are the least standardized in major photograph of product, model, and background. No disparity was shown because the ENG and CHN websites are highly standa rdized. Regarding countryof origin image usage, the results support hypothesis two in testing greater COO image used in English with Chinese language luxury brand websites than English without Chinese ones, and prestige is found the most widely applied CO O image. In other words, exclusivity, status, and brand name reputation are most applied COO image on luxury brands websites. Cultural viewpoints Concerning cultural viewpoints, hypotheses three to seven which deal with collectivism, uncertainty avoidanc e, power distance, masculinity and high context can be fully rejected. There was statistical significance regarding low context, showing that the mean scores of English with Chinese websites are higher than those websites in English without Chinese language, which contradicts with the hypothesis. Hence, hypothesis eight can be rejected as well. Cultural factors do not play an important role in luxury online branding. As previously mentioned, Chinese

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107 consumers consider international products more prestigious than domestic ones. Hence, an international standardized brand image enhances the status of foreign brands in Chinese consumers minds. Willis (2006) also indicated that the higher the international brand image of a product or service, the less one should dilute it by extensive adaptation in China, as this market is buying the product or service because of its international image and status (p.72). Marketing luxury products in a standardized manner maintain brand equity and status across various locations. Thus, it gives rationale to explain why the cultural factors rarely exist in luxury brand websites. Luxury brands, which originate mostly in Europe and the U.S., have western culture as their history. Hence, when it comes to online branding, the cultural point of reference for website design is occidental instead of taking oriental factors into consideration. The ethnocentrism of luxury brands is fully expressed in their websites, and it elucidates even though China has been viewed as the most significant market for luxury industry, many luxury brands websites do not have Chinese language counterparts. Authenticity The discussion comes to the focal contributing factor of the current study --authenticity. Hypotheses 9 to 13 were to test if theres diff erence between the five genres of authenticity and language. The results suggest that there is no difference of the five genres of authenticity exhibited in English with Chinese and English without Chinese luxury brands websites. Research question three converses about the relationships between cultural dimensions and authenticity. Multiple regression results indicate that authenticity has statistically significant relationships with cultural dimensions. Natural authenticity does not have statistically sig nificant relationships with cultural dimensions. Original authenticity has statistically significant relationships with high and low context. Gilmore and Pine (2007) state that people tend to perceive products as authentic when they possess originality in design, being the first of its kind,

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108 not a copy or imitation (p.49). Thus, luxury brand websites depict a strong sense of originality through displaying aesthetic traits, ranks and numbers showing the growth and importance of the company, and use of superl ative words and sentences like Worlds largest, The top one, or The leading company. Luxury brands websites which integrate old elements with new products have explicit comparisons with other luxury brands. For luxury brands appealing to original au thenticity, they present the offerings as proceeding in time and departing in form from others in their category. Exceptional authenticity has a statistical significant relationship with high context. People expect luxury offerings to be authentic when usi ng rare materials, being unique, including unusual features, embracing unconventional wisdom (Gilmore and Pine, 2007, p. 62). Be direct and frank in exceptional authenticity, which means the brand interacts directly with customers and responds to their pro blems in a frank way, was found to exist on luxury brands websites which use polite and indirect words. Luxury brands websites which pay attention to aesthetic details have unusual and unique features in design as well. Worthy of note is that some luxury brand websites whose overall politeness is present in their company philosophy and corporate information interact with customers directly and respond their problems frankly. For most luxury brands in the current study, communicating with customers through websites simply meant email. However, websites can provide more options for luxury brands to communicate with customers interactively than currently appear to be utilized in this study. Referential authenticity does not have statistically significant re lationships with cultural dimensions. Power distance was found to be the most important variable in predicting referential authenticity. According to Gilmore and Pine (2007), people tend to consider offerings that honor some place, object, person, event, or idea as authentic (p.68). Therefore, those luxury brands

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109 websites which contain company hierarchy information, quality assurance, a vision statement, pride of ownership appeal will be considered authentic because they revere a place, object, event, or i dea. Finally, the last genre of authenticity is influential authenticity. The findings suggest it has a statistically significant relationship with collectivism and high context. Gilmore and Pine (2007) state that the purchase and use of an offering which only provide objective value do not suffice customers, an offering must involve something beyond its immediate utility and actually do what it claims to do to impart meaning (p.72). The appeal to personal aspiration is different from paying personal tribut e as a way of helping fulfill individual aspirations and self imaged appeal being projected in the personal aspiration. However, the current results are quite similar to paying personal tribute in referential authenticity. One thing different is that personal aspiration is related with collectivisms family theme (emphasis on customers as a family) and country news (related news from the country of origin). Embracing art, which is an important part in luxury branding, denotes integration of art into product s, sustenance of art development, and the connection between art and products. Embracingart luxury brands have aesthetic traits present on their websites. Another aspect of influential authenticity is to promote a cause, defined as passionately promote a social cause and a vision of social performance, relates to all items in collectivism; moreover, it is the only aspect relating to community relations. Through promoting a cause, luxury brands raise a sense of unity for customers to connection with each ot her within a certain community. The give meaning in influential authenticity implies to call customers to a higher purpose of social responsibility and to connect between product offerings and social performance of the brand. The give meaning aspect is constructed on luxury brands websites via country news, links to local websites, and overall humbleness in company philosophy.

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110 No statistical significant difference was found in testing the seven elements of authenticity exhibited in English with Chinese and English without Chinese language luxury brand websites to build the image of authenticity. The results show that the seven elements were equally employed on both languages websites. Pure authenticity is more depicted on luxury brand websites in both languages than approximate and moral authenticity, which means those indexical images of protecting status; real commitments to quality and price performance are highly emphasized than iconic images of traditional production methods and stylistic consiste ncy on luxury brand websites. Natural authenticity was hypothesized to be lower scored than other genres of authenticity, and this hypothesis was supported. Luxury brands, in its nature are against the nature. Certainly some luxury brands stress materialit y, while some will go green to meet the current trend. Nevertheless, when it comes to luxury, it by no means has any association with leave it raw, reek rusticity, and be bare (Glimore and Pine, 2007). The construction of an authenticity index is th e unique contribution of the current study. According to the results, the authenticity index scores vary by different countryof origins. Germany is the country that differs from France and Switzerland. Watches are the highest scored product category in au thenticity scale, while automobile is the lowest. Its understandable, because no automobile counterfeit will ever show up in luxury market, whereas counterfeiting occurs frequently in watches, and handbags and shoes, which is the second highest. The watches categorys countryof origin were all from Switzerland, scoring higher than the rest countries. In testing authenticity index score difference between English with Chinese and English without Chinese luxury brand websites, no statistical significance wa s found. The standardization approach of luxury brands not only exists in cultural dimensions, but similar results were found for authenticity.

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111 Conclusions The Internet certainly changes the environment of traditional retailing and has gradually affected the luxury industry. In the current study, it was found that only nine out of the sample websites have eretailing. Email is the most common two way communication for luxury brands, and email newsletter offering is frequently presented for updating customer s brand information. In other words, new technology has not been tapped fully by luxury brands. According to Okonkwo (2007), e retail is one of the most effective means to providing global consumers with products and instant customer satisfaction (p.179). Actually, online branding can be a positive addition to luxury brand equity, if managed effectively. Thus, e branding and e retailing should be included in future websites for luxury brands. Chinese language counterparts in English with Chinese luxury br and websites are highly standardized with the English language counterparts. There were only eight adapted luxury brand websites, predominately in the automobile product category, whose countryof origin was German. T he extent of luxury brand websites sta ndardization varies by different product category and countryof origin. The countryof origin in Germany is the least standardized, whereas France and Italy are the most standardized. Greater COO image is used in English with Chinese language luxury brand websites than in English without Chinese ones. The presence of prestige, which means exclusivity, status, and brand name reputation, is found the most widely applied element in building COO image in the current sample. Specific cultural factors do not ap pear to play an important role in luxury online branding, as previous hypotheses can be rejected. An international standardized brand image enhances the status of foreign brands in Chinese consumers minds because Chinese consumers consider international products more prestigious than domestic ones. The findings justify even though

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112 China has been viewed as the most significant market for luxury industry, many luxury brands websites do not have Chinese language counterparts. The issue of go green in natur al authenticity, which means luxury brands help sustain the world by using recycled materials in products, thus showing ecological intelligence, should not only be emphasized in western countries, but also in China. Luxury brands should take social respons ibility to educate Chinese consumers about the trend of going green. In addition, luxury brands websites should continue to emphasize the element of being foreign in exceptional authenticity, which implies foreignness or exotic atmosphere, which was pre sent extensively on English with Chinese websites, since Chinese customers more value international imaged products. Cultural dimensions do have statistical significant associations with authenticity. China has been regarded as a leading source of counter feits. For luxury brands to effectively appeal to authenticity, their websites should present the offerings as green, which implies ecological friendly; original, which proceeds in time and departs in form; exceptional, which is unique and unusual; referen tial, which reverently refers to the real; and influential, which imparts meaning. Authenticity, will be a long term trend for both offline and online branding, and luxury brands are no exception. The construction of an authenticity index is the exclusiv e contribution of the current study. While luxury brands natural authenticity is the lowest scored, exceptional authenticity is scored highest. This underscores that luxurys uniqueness, exclusiveness, and unusualness are present and depicted on the websi tes. With these features crafted on websites, there is more possibility and opportunity for luxury brands to develop advanced e retailing and interactivity with customers. As the authenticity scores vary with different product category and countryof origi n, it was found to be equally distributed on English with Chinese and English

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113 without Chinese luxury brands websites. The desire for authenticity in luxury brands is on the rise, despite of language and people. Chevalier and Mazzalovo (2008) identify that luxury brands need to satisfy three criteria so to be called luxury: it must have a strong artistic content; it must be the result of craftsmanship; and it must be international (p.xi). Based on the current study, luxury brands must satisfy a fourth crite rion: be authentic. Managerial Implications Based on the research findings, managerial implications are made as following: 1. Due to economic downturn, luxury brands should move ahead toward e retailing. The adoption of the Internet as a sales channel is now essential for luxury brands that aim to maintain a competitive edge (Okonkwo, 2007, p.179). Internet can bring convenience, immediate information, products exact specification and comparisons to customers. Likewise, luxury brands can establish a deeper relationship with customers through responding problems and offering specific service. By keeping and tracking customers online order record, luxury brands can cater with their precise appetite for product style. 2. Luxury brands should enhance the aspect of interactivity on websites. The current study found that email is the only way for consumers to reach and contact luxury brands. Luxury brands can establish an online community for brand lovers and heavy users to communicate with each other, share shopp ing experience, get the first hand seasonal collection news, access to viewing and purchasing without physically going to the store or show. Okonkwo (2007) indicates that a large segment of the worlds wealthy consumers has constant internet access and inc reasingly are making online purchases (p.182). In other words, those consumers with instant and regular Internet access will expect more from luxury brands in the digital age; on the other hand, they wish to be heard and rewarded as well.

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114 3. The retail pract ice of global luxury brands ought to be expanded to China. Luxury brands stores only locate in major cities or coastal cities; however, Chinese wealthy consumers do not only live in those cities. For convenience reason, for customization factor, for aut henticity issue, luxury brands should start e retailing as soon as possible in the markets of China. 4. Authenticity should be managed well and educated properly. Chinese consumers want to know the real thing and the underlying value. Luxury brands should t ake social responsibility to supervise and instruct their customers concerning the true meaning of being authentic. Earning profits in China during the economic recession should not be the only goal for luxury brands. In addition, for the long term sustainable relationship, greater education about authenticity is a great avenue for defeating counterfeit. Limitations and Future Research Possibilities Due to the nature of content analysis of the Internet, the constant change of website content is a major lim itation for the current study even though the coders were coding at the same time. When the study was at the proposal stage, there were only 23 English with Chinese luxury brands websites. Within 3 months, when the author actually implemented the study, E nglish with Chinese websites increased to 28. It implies that there will be more and more luxury brands websites with Chineselanguage counterparts in the future. The second limitation worthy of note is specific to the sample used in this research. Luxury brands number more than the sample of fiftythree, and other product categories not included were: hotel, wine, champagne and cognac, cosmetics and perfume. For a more inclusive future study, it is suggested to use Okonkwos (2007) complete luxury brands index (p.45), which contains 129 luxury brands. As for product category, Chevalier and Mazzalovo (2008) provide

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115 an overall category of luxury products (p.34). Adding product categories would improve the exploration of the current study by adding depth and breadth. To maintain the international image, most luxury brands employed a standardized approach on the websites design. It limits the insights and research findings of Hofstedes cultural dimensions, thus the cultural comparison cannot be made in the c urrent study. To shed more light on the cultural implications, the author suggests that future study compare consumers point of view across different geographic markets, for example, Taiwan, Hong Kong versus Mainland China (Chadha and Husband, 2006), or t he U.S. versus China. In addition, luxury brands may evolve and add more cultural elements in the future. Hofstedes cultural dimensions as well as other cultural comparisons may need to be reexamined in the future as a result of luxury websites content change. The current study content analyzed luxury brands websites. For future research, the author suggests also to analyze luxury brands advertisements, such as magazines or newspapers. To the authors knowledge, this study is the first one to content analyzes Chinese language luxury brands websites. In the future, the proposed integrated model of authenticity also can be applied across various products and brands other than luxury. Authenticity should be fully exploited in the future as well.

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116 APPEN DIX A SAMPLES 53 LUXURY BRANDS Table A 1. Samples 53 Luxury Brands # Brand COO Product category Eng/w Chn Eng/no Chn Adapted 1 Audi (c1,c5) G Auto 2 Bally (c2, c6) F Handbags & shoes 3 BMW (c3,c4) G Auto 4 Bottega Veneta (c7) IT Handbags & shoes 5 Burberry (c8) UK Fashion 6 Bulgari (c9, c10) IT Jewelry 7 Cartier (c11,c12) F Jewelry 8 Celine (c13,c14) F Fashion 9 Chanel (c15,c16) F Fashion 10 Chaumet (c17,c18) F Jewelry 11 Chloe (c19,c20) F Handbags & sho es 12 Chopard (c21) SW Watches 13 Christian Lacroix (c22) F Fashion 14 Coach (c23) US Handbags & shoes 15 Cole Haan (c24) US Handbags & shoes 16 Dior (c25,c26) F Fashion 17 Dolce & Gabbana (c27, c28) IT Fashion 18 Dunhill (c29, c30) UK Handbags & shoes 19 Ebel (c31) SW Watches 20 Escada (c32) G Fashion 21 Fendi (c33) F Handbags & shoes 22 Ferrari (c34) IT Auto 23 Giorgio Armani (c35) IT Fashion 24 Givenchy (c36) F Fashion 25 Gucci (c37, c38) IT Fashion 26 Harry Winston (c39) US Jewelry 27 Hermes (c40, c 41) F Handbags & shoes 28 Hugo Boss (c42) G Fashion 29 Jaguar (c43, c44) UK Auto 30 Lanvin (c45) F Fashion 31 Louise Vuitton (c46, c47) F Handbags & shoes 32 Longines (c48, C49) SW Watches 33 Mercedes (c50, c51) G Auto

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117 Table A 1. Continued 34 MontBlanc (c52, c53) F Handbags & shoes 35 Moschino (c54) IT Fashion 36 Nina Ricci (c55) F Fashion 37 Omega (c56, c57) SW Watche s 38 PATEK PHILIPPE (c58) SW Watches 39 Piaget (c59, c60) SW Watches 40 Porsche (c61, c62) G Auto 41 Prada (c63) IT Handbags & shoes 42 Ralph Lauren (c64) US Fashion 43 Rolex (c65, c66) SW Watches 44 Rolls Royce (c67) UK Auto 45 Salvator Ferragamo (c68, c69) IT Handbags & shoes 46 S.T. Dupont (c70, c71) F Handbags & shoes 47 TAG Heuer (c72, c73) SW Watches 48 Tiffany & Co. (c74, c75) US Jewelry 49 Tods (c76) IT Handbags & shoes 50 Valenti no (c77) IT Fashion 51 Van Cleef & Arpels (c78, c79) F Jewelry 52 Versace (c80) IT Fashion 53 Yves Saint Laurent (c81) F Fashion

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118 APPENDIX B CODE BOOK I. Website Content Analysis Instrument (Carroll, 2001; Riley and Lacroix, 2003; Lee et.al, 2004; Seringhaus, 2005) 1. Operations Is website operational? Is specialized software required? 2. Advertising/companyspecific Logos About us Divisional/product/category Careers Health/safety History 3. Advertising/ produc t Product list buttons Brands Prices Nearest dealer 4. Direct marketing Customer service Catalogues Online account information Online ordering Online tracking 5. Corporate affairs Press releases News related News unrelated On whether the website is active (ie. Possess content) On whether specialized software is needed to view any of the website content (Software such as Shoc kwave, Flash, QuickTime, Acrobat etc.) Corporate identity and logo present Basic corporate information (ie. Structure, divisions etc.) Pages and/or links to internal departments Opportunities available within company Information health and/or safe ty related to the information Tracing the development of organization Pages and/or links to product/services offered Pages and/or links to companys brands Current prices for the product/services offered Reseller/retailer contact information Availabili ty of customer support or product/service information Full descriptions of products/services offered Personal customer information available Ability to purchase/order via the Internet Ability to track delivery of product via the Internet Placement of com panys press release online Placement of any company related articles online Placement of unrelated news articles online

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119 Media centre/pack Annual repor ts Info financials Stock quotes Other shareholder Sponsors Causes Environmental policy information Community related information Educational Kids Career opportunities section 6. Sales promotion General promotions Free gifts Games and sweepstakes Cou pons Unrelated advertising 7. Web site/images Non person Continuous Females Males Flashing Moving images or words 8. Web site/interactive customized Whats new section Market segmentation Search Site maps Information for the use of the media Availability of companys annual report Availability of companys financial information Links to c urrent company stock price Other related shareholder information Information on sponsorship initiatives of the company Information on corporate causes and initiatives Information on the corporate environment policy Information on interactions/initiatives w ith local community Information useful educational purposes Content specifically targeted toward children Information on job opportunities within the company Specific advertising promotions of products/services Availability of free material Opportunity f or viewer to enter competitions Availability of coupon promotions Product/service advertising by external companies on site Non human images (e.g. headquarters, products etc.) Static images present, which do not alternate Female image(s) Male image(s) Th e flashing of images or text Movement of text or images Content that has been recently updated Dedicated market segment content pages Keyword search facility Content map, indicating type and location of information

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120 Drop down menu Links to other sites Banner/butt on adverts Interstitials Staff email/phonebook directory User ID/password 9. Web site/issues Help section FAQ Legal Privacy policy Language variations 10. Web site/two way communications Email/contact us Email newsletters offering Surveys Quizzes Signups 11. What contact information is shown Webmaster Head office Department Address All outlet locations Agents/sales reps/resellers 12. Websites targeted audiences General public Fast access to content pages Availabil ity of web page links to internal and external sites Placement of product/service advertising Pop up web pages (ie. Typical browser functions not available) Availability of all the companys staff contact details Restricted access to some content. Access gained only at companys discretion. Registration may be required. Explanation of buttons Frequently asked questions Copyright, term and conditions stated Statement on information gained from web visitor Availability of content in foreign languages other t han English (ie. French/Spanish/German/Etc.) Ability to contact the company via email Availability of email newsletters or briefings form the company Use of marketing research (ie. Customer survey) Use of quizzes to increase interaction with potential audiences Apply for password, to specially restricted information Ability to contact information technology dept. Provision of contact details for the head office Provision of contact details for different company departments Provision of contact details for all of the companys offices and locations Provision of contact details for all of the companys resellers from where their product/service can be purchased Website content targeted towards the

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121 Customers Local community Graduates/prospective employees Employees/contra ctors Shareholders/investors/stock exchange Suppliers/distributors/wholesalers /retailers Media general public Website content targeted towards potential/ existing customers Website content targeted towards the local community of the organization Website content targeted towards the potential employees Website content targeted towards the existing employees, helping to facilitate production or delivery of pr oduct/service Website content designed to help improve and facilitate investor relations Website content targeted towards the companys supply chain members Website content designed to help improve and facilitate the media relations Similarity ratings (O kazaki, 2005, p.97; Mueller, 1991) Items Scale type Company logo Company logo placement Major copy Major copy placement Major text Major text placement Layout in top half/right half Layout in bottom half/ left half Color in top half/right half Color in bottom half/ left half Major photograph (product) Major photograph (model) Major photograph (background) Major illustration Major chart or graph Interactive image (flash as opening) Interactive image (pop ups) Interactive image (animated banners) Interacti ve image (layers, popunders, etc.) Five point scale (1= very different; 5= very similar)

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122 II. Product category Category Brands Auto Mercedes BMW Audi Porsche Jaguar Ferrari Rolls Royce Fashion Gucci Chanel Hugo Boss Celine Dior Givenchy Dolc e & Gabana Yves Saint Laurent Burberry Giorgio Armani Christian Lacroix Nina Ricci Escada Ralph Lauren Lanvin Valentino Moschino Versace Handbags and Shoes Louise Vuitton Salvator Ferragamo MontBlanc Dunhill Bottega Veneta Tods Bally Prada Hermes Chlo e S.T. Dupont Fendi Coach Cole Haan

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123 Jewelry Tiffany & Co. Cartier Bulgari Chaumet Van Cleef & Arpels Harry Winston Watch Rolex PATEK PHILIPPE Omega Piaget Ebel TAG Heuer Chopard Longines :

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124 III. Co untryof origin Germany Mercedes BMW Audi Porsche Ferrari Hugo Boss Rolls Royce France LV Chanel Cartier MontBlanc Celine Dior Givenchy YSL Bally Hermes Christian Lacroix Chloe Nina Ricci S.T. Dupont Lanvin Fendi Chaum et Van Cleef & Arpels Italy G ucci Bulgari Ferragamo Bottega Veneta D & G Tods Giorgio Armani Prada Moschino Versace Valentino US Tiffany & Co. Ralph Lauren Harry Winston Coach Cole Haan

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125 UK Burberry Jaguar Dunhill Rolls Royc e Switzerland Rolex PATEK PHILIPPE Omega Piaget Ebel TAG Heuer Chopard Longines The country image dimensions are defined as (Roth and Romeo1992, p.480): Innovativeness Use of new technology and engineering advances Design Appe arance, style, colors, variety Prestige Exclusivity, status, brand name reputation Workmanship Reliability, durability, craftsmanship, manufacturing quality.

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126 IV. Cultural Context Dimension Categories Collectivism Community relations Clubs or chat rooms Newsletter Family theme Country specific news Symbols and pictures of national identity Loyalty programs Links to local website Uncertainty Avoidance Customer service Secure payment Guided navigation Tradition theme Local stor es Local terminology Free trials or downloads Customer testimonials Toll free numbers Power Distance Company hierarchy information Pictures of CEOs Quality information and awards Vision statement Pride of ownership appeal Proper titles Masculinity Quizzes and games Realism theme Product effectiveness Clear gender roles High Context Politeness Soft sell approach Aesthetic Low Context Hard sell approach Ranks or prestige of the company Explicit comparisons Use of superlatives Terms and conditi ons of use

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127 Explanation for Cultural Categories (Singh et al., 2003) Collectivism Community Relations. Presence or absence of community policy, giving back to community, social responsibility policy. Newsletters. Online subscriptions, magazines, and newsletters. Family theme. Pictures of family, pictures of teams of employees, mention of employee teams and emphasis on team and collective work responsibility in vision statement or elsewhere on the web site, and emphasis on customers as a family. Club s or Chat rooms. Presence or absence of members club, product based clubs, chat with company people, chat with interest groups, message boards, discussion groups, and live talks. Symbols and pictures of national identity. Flags pictures of historic monume nts, pictures reflecting uniqueness of the country, country specific symbols in the form of icons, and indexes. Loyalty programs. Frequent miles programs, customer loyalty programs, and company credit cards for specific country, special membership program s. Links to local websites. Links to country locations, related country specific companies, and other local web sites from a particular country. Uncertainty Avoidance Customer service. FAQs, customer service option, customer contact or customer service emails. Guided navigation. Site maps, well displayed links, links in the form of pictures or buttons, forward, backward up and down navigation buttons. Tradition theme. Emphasis on history and ties of a particular company with a nation, emphasis on respe ct, veneration of elderly and the culture, phrases like most respected company, keeping the tradition alive, for generations, company legacy. Local stores. Mention of contact information for local offices, dealers, and shops. Local terminology. L ike use of country specific metaphors, names of festivals, puns, and a general local touch in the vocabulary of the web page not just mere translation. Free trials or downloads. Free stuffs, free download, free screen savers, free product trials, free cou pons to try the products or services, free memberships, or free service information.

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128 Toll free numbers. To call at any time around the clock. Power Distance Company hierarchy information. Information about the ranks of company personnel, information about organizational chart, and information about country managers. Pictures of CEOs. Pictures of executives, important people in the industry or celebrities. Quality assurance and awards. Mention of awards won, mention of quality assurance information and quality certification by international and local agencies. Vision Statement. Pride of ownership appeal. Web sites depict satisfied customers, fashion statement for the use of product, and the use of reference groups to portray pride. Proper titles. Tit les of the important people in the company, titles of the people in the contact information, and titles of people on the organizational charts. Masculinity Quizzes and games. Games, quizzes, fun stuff to do on the website, tips and tricks, recipes, and o ther fun information. Realism theme. Less fantasy and imagery on the website, to the point information. Product effectiveness. Durability information, quality information, product attribute information, and product robustness information. Clear gender r oles. Separate pages for men and women, depiction of women in nurturance roles, depiction of women in positions of telephone operators, models, wives, and mothers; depiction of men as macho, strong, and in positions of power. High Context Culture Politenes s and indirectness. Greetings from the company, images and pictures reflecting politeness, flowery language, use of indirect expressions like perhaps, probably and somewhat. Overall humbleness in company philosophy and corporate information. Soft se ll approach. Use of affective and subjective impressions of intangible aspects of a product or service, and more entertainment theme to promote the product. Aesthetics. Attention to aesthetic details, liberal use of colors, high bold colors, emphasis on i mages and context, and use of love and harmony appeal.

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129 Low Context Culture Hard sell approach. Discounts, promotions, coupons, and emphasis on product advantages using explicit comparison. Use of superlatives. Use of superlative words and sentences: li ke We are the number one, The top company, and The leader, Worlds largest. Rank or prestige of the company. Features like company rank in the industry, listing in Forbes or Fortune, and numbers showing the growth and importance of the company. T erms and condition of purchase. Products return policy, warranty, and other conditions.

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130 V. Authenticity (Gilmore and Pine, 2007; Beverland, 2005; Beverland et al., 2008) Principles of the five genres of authenticity (Gilmore and Pine, 2007, p.5277): Genres Principles 1. Natural authenticity: infuse elements of nature Stress materiality What one raw material might serve as a unifying force in rendering authenticity? Leave it raw What have others overly produced or perfected that could instead be offered raw or flawed? Reek rusticity In what ways could a less sophisticated offering be appealing? Be bare What should be stripped down, left naked, or made bare? Go green How could you help sustain the natural world? 2. Original authenticity: proceed in time, depart in form Stress your firsts What beginnings and anniversaries deserve commemoration? Revive the past What brand, advertising, slogan, material, or memory from the past could provide a new source of inspiration? Look old What new elements of your offering could look old? Mix and mash What could be mixed and mashed into a single new offering? Anti up What move could you make against conventional norms? 3. Exceptional authenticity: be unique or unusual Be direct and frank Where and how can you interact more directly and frankly with customers?

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131 Focus on uniqueness How can you respond to the uniqueness of individual customers? Go slow What aspect of your business could be assessed in a much slower fashion? Treat as temporary What could you pop up and then close on a temporary basis? Be foreign What foreignness could be emphasized with uninitiated customers? 4. Referential authenticity: reverently refer to the real Pay personal tribute What person could you referentially honor? Evoke a time What period of or moment in time could serve as a compelling theme? Pick a place What particular place could inspire your offerings? Make it matter What place, object, person, event, or idea is worth revering? Be realistic What stimulated experience could be rendered more realistically? 5. Influential authenticity: impart meaning Appeal to personal aspiration What aspirations of individuals can you help fulfill? Appeal to collective aspiration What shared aspiration among customers can you help achieve? Embrace art How can you integrate art into your everyday business? Promote a cause What greater social cause can you passionately promote,

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132 helping to affect its ends? Give meaning What meaningful purpose can you infuse into your offerings? Th e seven elements of image building in authenticity: Elements Definition 2. Protecting status Luxury brands represent the highest stage a brand can achieve in terms of value. The identification of status based positioning of luxury brands is to retain their equity. 2. Real commitments to quality Luxury brand history and story related directly to real commitments to production quality. 3. Price performance Being able to demonstrate actual ongoing product quality and the existence of price premiums was critical for protecting status. 4. Using place as a referent This view of authenticity was expressed in the commitment to terroir. The use of terroir as a positioning statement and guiding philosophy reinforced a point of uniqueness, granting authentic ity to the product. 5. Traditional production methods The linking of the brand to place or traditional methods of production led the luxury brands to seek protection for the use of that name, and traditional expressions represented the images of craft p roduction. 6. Stylistic consistency It is associated with remaining true to past styles while adapting to changing consumer tastes. The brand icon or style illustrates the legend and timelessness of the brand and the intrinsic qualities established over time. 7. History and culture as referents Making links to the past enhances brand sincerity. It is another means to ensure authenticity by drawing on historical associations and building links to cultural events. Authenticity is communicated through her itage and links with past events, resulting in the continuance of myths regarding the production processes of certain style icons.

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133 Three forms of authenticity (Beverland et al. 2008, p.8) Forms Definition and cues Pure (literal) authenticity To provide consumer with in situ guarantee of the genuine article; Indexical cues involving the brand and --1. Pictures of craftspeople actively engaged in the production process 2. Cues that indicate the active use of traditional practices, including: a. Pictu res of luxury goods being produced with traditional equipment b. Images of luxury goods c. Pictures of service staff in ancient traditional settings d. Historically accurate colors, font, and typesetting. Approximate authenticity To provide consumer with a feeling that this brand will help achieve self authentication through connecting with place and time Iconic cues that create an impression that the brand is connected to the past: 1. Stylized links to place of production 2. Stylized connections between creators and the product 3. Use of traditional product identifiers 4. Cues that clearly differentiate the brand from gaudy and complex massmarket alternatives via: a. simple color schemes b. simple typeface c. simple labeling and packaging Moral authenticity To provi de consumer with a feeling that this brand will help achieve self authentication though connecting with personal moral values. Indexical or iconic images of --1. Involvement of individual creators in the production process 2. Small batch or craft production methods and processes 3. Love of the craft process

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134 Integrated Authenticity Scale (MacCannell 1973; Beverland, 2005; Gilmore and Pine, 2007; Beverland et al., 2008) Aspects Items and cues for coding 1. Natural authenticity: infuse elements of nature Stress m ateriality Does it indicate raw material? Does it imply organic ingredients? Leave it raw Does it indicate unpolished process? Does it indicate commodities remain unprocessed? Reek rusticity Does it indicate simple products? Is less sophisticated product shown? Be bare Does it indicate streamlined plainness? Does it deemphasize materials altogether? Does the offerings infused with elements of nature? Go green Does it help sustain the world? Does it imply ecological intelligence? Are recycled materials u sed in products? 2. Original authenticity: proceed in time, depart in form Stress your firsts Does it emphasize being original? Does it commemorate beginnings or anniversaries? Does it imply uniqueness? Revive the past Is the original real thing empha sized? Does it imply unknown substance discovered? Does it introduce something new? Look old Is an old story told? Is there any old element in new products? Is the year of birth shown?

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135 Mix and mash Does it mix or blend with other offerings? Does it pe rform many different functions while remaining its own thing? Are old offerings mixed and mashed into a single new offering? Anti up Is it against conventional norms? Does it go against a known and well accepted practice? Is the offering proceeding in t ime and departing in form from others of the kind? 3. Exceptional authenticity: be unique or unusual Be direct and frank Does the brand interact directly with customers? Does the brand respond to customers problems directly? Focus on uniqueness Does it indicate unique substance? Does it imply customizing things? Are rare materials used in products? Are unusual features included in product design? Go slow Is handmaking or craft producing mentioned? Does it implement total quality management? Treat as temporary Is a new style shown? Does it keep away of being outdated? Does it use popup marketing strategy to sell limited edition products? Be foreign Is there foreignness? Does it imply exotic atmosphere? Are foreign elements used in products? 4 Referential authenticity: reverently Pay personal tribute Is there a person referentially honored?

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136 refer to the real Is that person represented the brand image? Evoke a time Does it paying tribute to past times? Is there historical associations linked to cultural events? Is brand heritage linked with past events? Pick a place Does it paying tribute to a place? Does it emphasize the country of origin? Is the use of terroir applied as a positioning statement? Make it matter Is any place, object, event or idea revering? Is authenticity crafted in the place, object, event, or idea? Be realistic Does something already perceived as authentic being referred to the offerings? Does past links render realisticity? Is product placement seemed be true? 5. Influential authenticity: impart meaning Appeal to personal aspiration Does it help fulfill individual aspirations? Is self image appeal projected in the personal aspiration? Appeal to collective aspiration Does it help achieve shared aspiration among customers? Is self image appeal projected in the collective aspiration? Embrace art Does it integrate art into products? Does it help sustain the art development? Does it connect art and products? Promote a cause Is social cause passionately promoted ? Does social cause help to affect its ends? Does it show a vision of social performance of the company?

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137 Give meaning Does it impart meaning into the offerings? Does it call customers to a higher purpose of social responsibility? Does it show the conne ction between the offerings and social performance of the company? 6.Pure authenticity 7. Approximate authenticity Protecting status Does it show images of luxury goods? Does it indicate the active use of traditional practices? Real co mmitments to quality Does it show pictures or descriptions of craftspeople actively engaged in the production process? Price performance Does it demonstrate actual ongoing product quality and the existence of price premiums? Traditional production methods Are pictures of service staff in ancient traditional settings shown? Does it show the use of traditional product identifiers? Does it show the traditional craft production method or process? Stylistic consistency Does it show stylized connection be tween now and then? Does it show consistency of color schemes, labels, logos or packaging?

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138 APPENDIX C CODE SHEET Coder: ___________________________________ Date: __________________ Website brand: __________________________________ Langua ge: __________ English/w Chinese (coded as 1) English/ no Chinese (coded as 2) I. Website characteristics: 1. Operations Presence Absence Cant code V1. Is the website operational? V2. Is specialized software required? 2. Advertising/ company specific V3. Logos V4. About us V5. Divisional/ product/ category V6. Careers V7. Health/ safety V8. History 3. Advertising/ product V9. Product list buttons V10. brands V11. pri ces V12. nearest dealer 4. Direct marketing V13. customer service V14. catalogues V15. online account information V16. online ordering V17. online tracking 5. Corporate affairs V18. press releases V19. news related V20. news unrelated V21. media center/ pack V22. annual reports V23. info financials V24. stock quotes

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139 Presence Absence Cant code V25. other shareholder V26. sponsors V27. causes V28. env ironmental policy information V29. community related info V30. educational V31. children V32. career opportunities section 6. Sales promotion V33. general promo V34. free gifts V35. games and sweepstakes V3 6. coupons V37. unrelated advertising 7. Web site/ images V38. non person V39. continuous V40. female dominated V41. male dominated V42. animation flashing V43. moving images or words 8. Web site/ int eractive customized V44. whats new section V45. market segmentation V46. search V47. site maps V48. drop down menu V49. links to other sites V50. banner/ button adverts V51. interstitials V52. staff email/ phon ebook directory V53. user id./ password 9. Web site/ issues V54. help section V55. FAQ V56. legal V57. privacy policy V58. language variations

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140 Presence Absence Cant code 10. Web site/ two way co mmunications V59. email/ contact us V60. email newsletter offering V61. surveys V62. quizzes V63. signups 11. What contact info is shown? V64. webmaster V65. head office V66. department address V67. al l outlet locations V68. agents/ sales reps/ resellers 12. Websites targeted audiences V69. general public V70. customers V71. local community V72. graduates/ prospective employees V73. employees/ contractors V74 shareholders/ investors/ stock exchange V75. suppliers/ distributors/ wholesalers/ retailers V76. media II. V77. Product category 1. auto 2. fashion 3. handbags and shoes 4. jewelry 5. watch III. V7 8. COO 1. Germany 2. France 3. Italy 4. US 5. UK 6. Switzerland Country image V79. innovativeness V80. design V81. prestige V82. workmanship

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141 Presence Absence Cant code IV. Cultural conte xt Collectivism V83. community relations V84. clubs or chat rooms V85. newsletter V86. family theme V87. country specific news V88. symbols and pictures of national identity V89. loyalty programs V90. links to l ocal website Uncertainty Avoidance V91. customer service V92. secure payment V93. guided navigation V94. tradition theme V95. local stores V96. local terminology V97. free trials or downloads V98. customer testimonials V99. toll free numbers Power Distance V100. company hierarchy info V101. pictures of CEOs V102. quality information and awards V103. vision statement V104. pride of ownership appeal V105. proper t itles Masculinity V106. quizzes and games V107. realism theme V108. product effectiveness V109. clear gender roles High Context V110. politeness V111. soft sell approach V112. aesthetic L ow Context V113. hard sell approach V114. ranks or prestige of the company

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142 Presence Absence Cant code V115. explicit comparisons V116. use of superlatives V117. terms and conditions of use V. Authenticity Natural authenticity V118. Stress materiality V119. Leave it raw V120. Reek rusticity V121. Be bare V122. Go green Original authenticity V123. Stress your firsts V124. Revive the past V125. Look old V126. Mix and mash V127. Anti up Exceptional authenticity V128. Be direct and frank V129. Focus on uniqueness V130. Go slow V131. Treat as temporary V132. Be foreign Referential authenticity V133. P ay personal tribute V134. Evoke a time V135. Pick a place V136. Make it matter V137. Be realistic Influential authenticity V138. Appeal to personal aspiration V139. Appeal to collective aspiration V140. Embrace art V141. Promote a cause V142. Give meaning V143. Protecting status V144. Real commitments to quality V145. Price performance

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143 Presence Absence Cant code V146. Using place as a referent V147. Traditional produ ction method V148. Stylistic consistency V149. History and culture as referents V150. Pure authenticity V151. Approximate authenticity V152. Moral authenticity Similarity ratings (1= very different; 5= very similar) V153. Com pany logo Very different different not determinable similar very similar V154. Company logo placement Very different different not determinable similar very similar V155. Major copy Very different different not determinable similar very similar V156. Major copy placement Very different different not determinable similar very similar V157. Major text Very different different not determinable similar very similar V158. Major text placement Very different different not determinable similar v ery similar V159. Layout in top half/right half Very different different not determinable similar very similar V160. Layout in bottom half/ left half Very different different not determ inable similar very similar

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144 V161. Color in top half/right half Very different different not determinable similar very similar V162. Color in bottom half/ left half Very different different not determinable similar very similar V163. Major photograph (product) Very different different not determinable similar very similar V164. Major photograph (model) Very different different not determinable similar very similar V165. Major photograph (background) Very different different not determinable similar very similar V166. Major illustration Very different different not determinable similar very similar V167. Major chart or graph Very different different not determinable similar very similar V168. Interactive image (flash as opening) Very different different not determinable similar very similar V169. Interactive image (popups) Very different different not d eterminable similar very similar V170. Interactive image (animated banners) Very different different not determinable similar very similar V171. Interactive image (layers, popunders, etc.) Very different different not determinable similar very similar

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151 Rossler, P. (1999), Content analysis in online communication: a challenge for traditional methodology, In Batinic, B., Reips, U.D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.), Online Social Sciences, pp. 291307, Hogrefe & Huber, Washington, D.C. Roth, M.S. and Romeo, J.B. (1992), Matching product categor y and country image perceptions: a framework for managing countryof origin effects, Journal of International Business Studies Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 47797. Roux, E. (1995), Consumer evaluation of luxury brand extensions, EMAC Conference May, ESSEC, P aris, France. Samli, A.C. (1995), International consumer behavior: its impact on marketing strategy development, Quorum Books New York, NY. Schuiling, I. and Kapferer, J N. (2004), Executive insights: real differences between local and international brands: strategic implications for international marketers, Journal of International Marketing Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 97142. Seringhaus, F.H. (2005), Comparison of website usage of French and Italian luxury brands, Journal of Euromarketing, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 534. Singh, N., Zhao, J. and Hu, X. (2003), Cultural adaptation on the Web: a study of American companies domestic and Chinese websites, Journal of Global Information Management Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 6380. Socha, M. (2005), China expected to dominate luxe Market, WWD, New York, Sep. 6th, Vol. 190 Iss. 50, p.2. Tai, S.H. (1998), Factors affecting advertising approach in Asia, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 3345. Trilling, L. (1972), Sincerity and Authenticity Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Tsai, S.P. (2005), Impact of personal orientation on luxury brand purchase value: an international investigation, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 47 Iss. 4, pp. 42954. Veblen, T.B. (1899), The Theory of the Leisure Class, Houghton Mifflin, Boston. Verlegh, P.W.J. and Steenkamp, J B. E.M. (1999), A review and meta analysis of countryof origin Research, Journal of Economic Psychology Vol. 20, pp. 52146. Vigneron, F. and Johnson, L.W. (1999), A review and a conceptual framework of prestige seeking consumer behavior, Academy of Marketing Science Review Available online at http://www.amsreview.org/articles/vig neron011999.pdf __________________________ (2004), Measuring perceptions of brand luxury, Journal of Brand Management Vol. 11 No. 6, pp. 484506.

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153 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH En Ying Lin, from Taipei, Taiwan, wa s a doctoral student in m ass c ommunication at the University of Florida. During her undergraduate and graduate study in Taiwan, Lin was a research assistant and a teaching assi stant in the field of advertising. After receiving her first m aster s degree in 2002, Lin was inspired by the global perspective to examine the relationship of media, communication and culture in the world around her Lin received her second master s degree from the University of Florida in 2004. The following academic year, she returned to the University of Florida to begin her doctoral studies, specializing in advertising. Lins research interests include international advertising, consumer culture, luxury branding, online brand management, and authenticity.