Brands and Branding: an Analysis of the Identification and Development of Spirit Industry Clusters in China

Authors: HUI YANG*, University of Hull, David Gibbs, University of Hull, Andy Jonas, University of Hull
Topics: Economic Geography, China, Marketing Geography
Keywords: brands and branding, industry cluster, spirit, China, spatial policy
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8226, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since the 1980s the concept of industry clusters has been applied to the analysis of regional economic development, focusing upon the types of innovative activities shaping industrial organization. One of the widespread analysis models of cluster is the ‘diamond model’, developed by Michael Porter (1990, 2000). In this model, brands and branding strategies were regarded as an endogenous element of enterprise strategies. However, besides its economic function, Pike (2009, 2010, 2013) argues that brands and branding capture the complex nature of geographical processes shaping regional economic development. Branding involves not only the promotion of products, but also their production, circulation, consumption and regulation processes which permeate society, culture and policy (Miao et al., 2002; Pike, 2013), and have a close relationship with spatially uneven development. The brands and branding concept can therefore involve wide meanings relating to economy, ecology, policy, culture, society, spatial and history. This paper develops a brands and branding framework to identify and explain the development of industry clusters in the Chinese spirit industry. The paper is based upon empirical research through case studies of four spirit industry clusters/parks in China, comprising 20 interviews with company representatives and local government. In the results, brands and branding are identified as a new method to identify and trace the development of spirit industry cluster in China, where different elements play diverse roles in the development of Chinese spirit industry clusters.

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