Dr Zhiying Ben

Lecturer in Marketing Analytics

Academic and research departments

Department of Marketing.



Research interests


Zhiying Ben, Hongfei Liu, Victoria-Sophie Osburg & Vignesh Yoganathan (2022) Cultural Accommodation: Does Online Sensory Marketing Count? Examining the Effects of Fashion Brands’ Cultural Accommodation through Multisensory Website Design

We study how foreign brands’ cultural accommodation delivered through multisensory website design influences local consumers’ perceptions and purchase decisions. We place particular emphasis on the Chinese fashion industry, where many non-Chinese brands suffer because they confront with a dilemma, between adapting to the local culture and retaining their western originality. Drawing upon theories of cultural accommodation and homophily bias, our experimental results indicate that foreign brands’ use of cultural accommodating multisensory cues (both visual and auditory) in website design positively influence consumers’ purchase intention, while the congruence of culturally accommodating multisensory cues also enhances of consumers’ purchase intention to some extent. We also demonstrate the psychological mechanism in transmitting multisensory cues of cultural accommodation into purchase intention and identify the mediating roles of consumer-brand identification and brand image in this mechanism.

Our study takes a novel perspective to contribute to the emerging research stream of online multisensory marketing and contextualizes the application of multisensory cues in the increasingly digitized and international marketplace. Specifically, we identified the significant impact of the application of online multisensory cues on signaling brands’ cultural accommodation effort and facilitating consumer purchase. Besides, we added new empirical evidence to effects of multisensory integration and congruence on audiences’ perceptions and identified the cultural accommodation through sensory cues attracting consumers’ attention on the congruence between different senses. Finally, we advanced the understanding of homophily bias effects and demonstrate the mechanism of translating multisensory cues that carry messages of cultural accommodation into consumers’ purchase intention. This highlights the significance of shared identity between consumers and a brand (i.e. consumer-brand identification) in developing consumers’ evaluation and behavioral intention towards the brand. From a managerial perspective, we shed a new light on foreign brands’ cultural accommodation strategies in local markets and suggest multisensory website design as a cost-effective avenue for delivering the brands’ cultural accommodation effort.