2016 Presentation at SEAA

2016 SEAA @Chinese University of Hong Kong

Brand building and reinterpretation of its meaning:
Case of a Japanese fashion giant in Hong Kong

Based on a case study of a Japanese fashion giant, Uniqlo, in Hong Kong, this presentation analyzes how a company’s “global” or homogeneous brand strategy has been reinterpreted differently in the local market and how local employees recreated its brand meaning. It firstly discusses how the company started to aim for a “global” brand building, and how the company attempts to do so by standardizing its customer service performance and by implementing a unified manual, which has two characteristics: one is its ambiguous description and the other is its strong emphasis on the employees’ “superficial” performance. These two characteristics allowed the employees to manipulate their performance and they were strongly encouraged to do so in some specific occasions. One of the common occasions is when they found their manipulated performance benefits to get a higher evaluation, and another occasion is when they found it efficiently helps them to build up a higher social status at the company. This presentation shows the dynamics of local reinterpretation in the process of global homogenization within the modern business organizations and to suggest the importance of the anthropological research in the field of company study.


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