The discursive construction and realization of the Hong Kong brand: A corpus-informed study

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Branding is essentially discursive in nature and yet discourse studies of branding are surprisingly few in number. The present study is a rare attempt to examine how branding, in particular place branding, can be conceptualized and operationalized linguistically through the investigation of a corpus of marketing texts on the official branding of Hong Kong. A quantitative analysis using corpus tools and techniques was first conducted to identify the main textual patterns based on frequency information. A qualitative analysis then followed to investigate the dominant textual patterns in context in order to uncover the branding strategies used and their associated linguistic realizations. Findings from the present study reveal that the branding discourse of Hong Kong is strongly business-oriented, largely constructed through taken-for-granted qualities, and heavily reliant on the technical branding jargon. Such findings can be directly compared with those from traditional marketing research to pinpoint any inconsistencies between official branding policies and consumers' perceptions. This will in turn provide more concrete suggestions to help bridge the divide, if any, between brand creators, consumers and other stakeholders involved, and ultimately promote more inclusive branding for all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-215
Number of pages25
JournalText and Talk
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2018


  • Branding
  • Corpus
  • Hong Kong
  • Marketing discourse
  • Place branding
  • Tourism discourse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


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