brand authenticity

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EMAC 2013 | 6th of Juni 2013 | D. Heinrich | The Influence of Fair Trade Messages on Consumres’ Green Buying Behavior | page Manfred Bruhn | Verena Schoenmüller Daniela B. Schäfer | Daniel Heinrich Brand Authenticity Friday, September 27th CBR 2013, Winter Park, FL

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EMAC 2013 | 6th of Juni 2013 | D. Heinrich | The Influence of Fair Trade Messages on Consumres’ Green Buying Behavior | page

Manfred Bruhn | Verena Schoenmüller

Daniela B. Schäfer | Daniel Heinrich

Brand Authenticity

Friday, September 27th

CBR 2013, Winter Park, FL

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

Agenda

1) Relevance and Objective

2) Theoretical Background

3) Study 1: Assessing Consumer’s Understanding of Brand Authenticity

4) Study 2: Generating and Selecting Items

5) Study 3: Reducing the Number of Items

6) Study 4: Validating the Brand Authenticity Dimensions

7) Study 5: Analyzing the Discriminant Validity

8) Conclusions and Further Research

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

1. Relevance and Objective

In times of increasing uncertainty, authenticity is an essential human

aspiration, making it “one of the cornerstones of contemporary marketing”

(Brown et al. 2003, p. 21).

Authenticity seems to have become the new make-or-break issue in

marketing, and practitioners even employ it as “the benchmark against which

all brands are now judged” (Grant 2000, p. 99).

Academic research defines authenticity as one of the key values of brand

image (Ballantyne et al. 2006) and a major success factor for brands, as it is part of

the brand’s identity (Beverland 2005; Kapferer 2004).

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

1. Relevance and Objective

Authenticity has its roots in academic disciplines such as anthropology, psychology,

philosophy, or sociology but “consumer research has not given considerable

focused attention to authenticity” (Grayson and Martinec 2004, p. 296).

Nevertheless, a first step in consumer research has been made:

• In particular, interpretative, qualitative marketing-research studies focus on the

phenomenon of authenticity (e.g. Aaker and Drolet 1996; Ballantyne et al. 2006; Holt 2002;

Grayson and Martinec 2004; Groves 2001; Beverland 2006).

• Past research mostly focuses on a specific product category such as wine

(Beverland 2006), tourist attractions (Grayson and Martinec 2004), or food production (Groves 2001).

→ The nature and dimensional structure of brand authenticity still remains

unknown.

→ The present study aims to develop a holistic understanding of brand

authenticity based on a variety of research fields.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

2. Theoretical Background

We draw the following conclusions from the general authenticity concept for the

specific context of brand authenticity:

(1) Authenticity in the context of brands refers to the authenticity of objects in

contrast to an individual’s authenticity;

(2) Brand authenticity is based on the evaluations of individuals rather than

being solely related to the inherent attributes of the brand;

(3) Brand authenticity seems to correspond with a variety of attributes lacking a

unique definition particularly in the branding context.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

2. Theoretical Background –

Marketing Research

Authenticity originates from Latin Authenticus and Greek Authentikos conveying the sense

trustworthiness (Cappannelli and Cappannelli 2004).

Within marketing research only few consumer researchers have explicitly defined authenticity

which has allowed the term to be used in different ways and with varying meanings

(Leigh et al. 2006):

... It has been defined as a

positively connoted

concept with the semantic

meanings of e.g.:

agelessness and

tradition (Aaker and

Drolet 1996)

Stylistic consistency,

quality commitments (Beverland 2006)

original (Ballantyne et al. 2006;

Holt 2002; Stark 2002)

genuineness (Aaker and Drolet 1996;

Stern 1996)

uniqueness(Groves 2001)

evidence, truth (Grayson and Martinec

2004)

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

2. Theoretical Background –

Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology

Philosophy

Authenticity is related to the emancipation

from conventional bonds as well as

originality (Taylor 1991). An authentic

individual is defined as being self-reliant

(Steiner and Reisinger 2006). Authenticity is

related to being oneself (Heidegger 1996).

Anthropology

Authenticity is often associated with the

preservation of cultural values. Authentic

experiences are comprehensively

characterized as natural (e.g. unspoiled,

untouched) (Handler 1986) and the opposite of

being a fake, plastic, and kitschy imitation(e.g., Bruner 1994; Cameron and Gatewood 1994).

Authenticity is also understood as being

closely related to distinctiveness (Bruner

1994).

Sociology

Authenticity is investigated with regards to

individuals, objects, their representation

and/or performance. Authentic experiences

or performances are denoted as being

original, sincere, genuine, credible and

unaffected (Carroll and Wheaton 2009; Fine

2003).

Psychology

Authentic individuals are assumed to have a

unique inner reality (Smelser and Baltes 2001).

The increasing orientation of the individual’s

behavior towards social expectations is

regarded as the opposite of authenticity

(Guignon 2004). Individual’s authenticity is a

multidimensional construct (Goldman and

Kernis 2002; Kernis 2003; Kernis and Goldman

2006; Lopez and Rice 2006; Wood et al. 2008).

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

3. Study 1:

Assessing Consumer’s Understanding of Brand Authenticity

Participants provide descriptions of:

•stability, endurance, and consistency (e.g., “constant in its style”),

•particularity, individuality, and innovativeness (e.g., “novel ideas”),

•trustfulness, credibility, and keeping promises (e.g., “trustworthy,” “reliable”),

•genuiness and realness (e.g., “it is what it is,” “naturalness,” “genuine,” “uncontrived”).

In a second step, participants select a

hardly authentic or totally non-authentic

brand from an identical or closely related

product category. Participants are

stimulated by words that were identified

as representing brand authenticity

(through the literature review). This

procedure allows us to test whether

consumers share our understanding of

brand authenticity and whether their

perceptions of very and hardly authentic

brands differ (Brakus et al. 2009).

In a first step, using open ended

questions, participants name a brand

which they perceive as highly authentic

and name the reasons why they

perceive the brand as authentic

(→ participants’ understanding of

authenticity).

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

3. Study 1:

Assessing Consumer’s Understanding of Brand Authenticity

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

3. Study 1:

Assessing Consumer‘s Understanding of Brand Authenticity

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

3. Study 1:

Assessing Consumer‘s Understanding of Brand Authenticity

• The content analysis of the open-ended responses indicates that all consumers have a

concept of brand authenticity and the terms that are related to brand authenticity are

mostly in line with our findings through the literature review.

• Building on these results it seems that the terms related to authenticity can be grouped into

four overall categories representing a brand…

• (1) …to be stable and/or continuous over time,

• (2) …to be creative, original and/or innovative,

• (3) …to keep promises and/or be reliable,

• (4) …to be genuine and/or natural.

→ Thus, we anticipate brand authenticity to be a four-dimensional construct. We term the four

dimensions comprehensively as (1) continuity, (2) originality, (3) reliability, (4) naturalness.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

4. Study 2:

Generating and Selecting Items – Literature Review

Continuity of

relationships in

terms of relationship

duration (Anderson

and Weitz 1989; Hess

et al. 2003; Lusch and

Brown 1996).

Continuity

Research on brand

image, consumer,

and advertising

research (Lynn and

Harris 1997; Nete-

meyer et al. 2004;

Olney et al. 1991) and

scales such as the

person’s originality

scale (Im et al. 2003).

Originality

Literature on

branding, consumer,

and advertising

research and scales

like the brand

trustworthiness

scale (Erdem and Swait

2004) or the ad

believability scale

(Beltramini 1988).

Reliability

Articles dealing with

the naturalness of

groceries and

related products(Tenbült et al. 2005;

Verhoog et al. 2003).

Naturalness

31 items are identified through the literature review.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

4. Study 2:

Generating and Selecting Items – Studies

• A sample consisting of students and marketing experts is asked to name a

brand which they perceive as highly authentic and to indicate (1 = “not at all” and

7 = “very much”), the extent to which the items identified through the literature

review describe the brand’s authenticity.

• Additionally, respondents are asked to list any other associations characterizing

authentic brands not included in the original list.

• A new student sample is asked to name an authentic brand and to indicate the

degree to which the identified items describe the brand’s authenticity (1 =

“describes poorly” and 7 = “describes very well”). We then reject items with mean

ratings below the scale midpoint and items that were not rated by more than 10%

of participants.

• Next, students complete a comparative rating task (item-sort task) for our

assessment of substantive-validity (Anderson and Gerbing 1991).

• After these validations, we retain 24 applicable items.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

5. Study 3:

Reducing the Number of Items

Pre-test with students to name one authentic brand within the sports apparel and

soft drink industry.

288 Students are asked to indicate the extent to which the items describe the

authenticity of one of the brands (1 = “strongly disagree” and 7 = “strongly agree”).

Factor analysis using varimax rotation: Four-factor solution:

▪ Variance explained = 70.33%; loading criterion >.7;

▪ Fifteen items fulfill this criterion:

▪ 4 reliability items load on the first factor, 4 continuity items load on the

second factor, 4 originality items load on the third factor, and 3 naturalness

items load on the fourth factor;

▪ Cronbach’s alphas: continuity (.90), originality (.90), reliability (.96), and

naturalness (.95).

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

5. Study 3:

Reducing the Number of Items

Item

Factor

Reliability Continuity Originality Naturalness

I think brand is consistent over time. .29 .81 .20 .08

I think the brand brand stays true to itself. .27 .79 .20 .30

Brand offers continuity. .28 .84 .16 .24

The brand brand has a clear concept that it pursues. .17 .77 .32 .17

The brand brand is different from all other brands. .10 .23 .86 .15

Brand stands out from other brands. .12 .35 .83 .15

I think the brand brand is unique. .33 .07 .79 .13

The brand brand clearly distinguishes itself from other

brands.

.21 .19 .83 .23

My experience of the brand brand has shown me that it

keeps its promises.

.81 .31 .25 .27

The brand brand delivers what it promises. .84 .30 .23 .29

Brand’s promises are credible. .82 .28 .19 .33

The brand brand makes reliable promises. .83 .28 .21 .32

The brand brand does not seem artificial. .33 .24 .17 .79

The brand brand makes a genuine impression. .32 .20 .23 .86

The brand brand gives the impression of being natural. .31 .22 .22 .85

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

6. Study 4:

Validating the Brand Authenticity Dimensions

27 participants are asked to name two brands they regard as authentic and one

brand they would classify as inauthentic.

Most of the mentioned brands belong to the following product category:

automobile, sports apparel, beverages, body care, and additionally retailers.

→total number of 15 brands (three per category).

857 participants (age: 34 to 69; average age: 49.6) evaluate the extent to which the

15 items are descriptive of the authenticity of one of the 15 brands they are randomly

assigned to.

Model fit comparison: four-factor model with correlated factors is the best model.

Automobile Sports Apparel Beverages Body Care Retailers

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

6. Study 4:

Validating the Brand Authenticity Dimensions

Model χ 2 d.f. NFI CFI GFI RMSEA

Independence model 17531.13 105 – – – –

One-factor model 5898.74 90 .66 .67 .46 .28

Four-factor model 457.63 84 .97 .98 .93 .07

Second-order with four

subdimensions457.97 86 .97 .98 .93 .07

→ As our theoretical derivations support the four-factor model with correlated

factors and as there is no theoretical foundation that would privilege the more

complex second-order model, we approve the four factor-model with

correlated factors as the most suitable model.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

6. Study 4:

Validating the Brand Authenticity Dimensions

Bruhn et al (2013)

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

7. Study 5:

Analyzing the Discriminant Validity

• A new sample of 115 participants respond to the 15-item brand authenticity

scale and scales relating to brand involvement, brand image, and brand

satisfaction.

• To create variation in brand authenticity values, we followed the procedure of

Thomson et al. (2005):

• We requested about one third of the participants to imagine a brand which

they evaluate as “strongly,” “moderately,” or “not authentic” in order to fill

out the questionnaire.

• For manipulation checks, we examined the consumers’ reported brand

authenticity.

• Results demonstrate that the scores average 3.03, 5.63 and 6.67 in the

three manipulation conditions (weak, moderate, and strong). Moreover,

the resulting means significantly differ from one another (p < .01).

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

7. Study 5:

Analyzing the Discriminant Validity

Factor

Item Satisfaction Involvement Authenticity Image

Naturalness .40 .31 .71 .28

Reliability .47 .39 .72 .09

Continuity .29 .16 .86 .04

Originality .19 .34 .65 .41

Satisfaction 1 .76 .39 .21 .30

Satisfaction 2 .76 .32 .25 .35

Satisfaction 3 .83 .28 .32 .21

Satisfaction 4 .80 .31 .40 .10

Satisfaction 5 .78 .37 .39 .07

Satisfaction 6 .77 .42 .22 .27

Satisfaction 7 .79 .32 .17 .30

Involvement 1 .35 .80 .18 .22

Involvement 2 .34 .82 .19 .27

Involvement 3 .31 .84 .22 .23

Involvement 4 .33 .80 .23 .28

Involvement 5 .33 .63 .40 .02

Involvement 6 .35 .78 .27 .25

Image 1 .22 .26 .20 .83

Image 2 .15 .29 .21 .86

Image 3 .26 .11 -.01 .82

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

8. Study 6:

Some Antecedentes and Outcomes of Brand Authenticity

• In this study we investigate antecedentes of Brand Authenticity that we derived

as relevant through the literature review, namely:

commercialization

brand heritage

brand local icon value

integrated brand presence

• Moreover we assess consequences of consumers’ perceived authenticity of a

brand: brand attitude, purchase intention, and word-of-mouth intention.

• H1: Brand commercialization affects brand authenticity negatively.

• H2: Brand heritage affects brand authenticity positively.

• H3: A brand’s local icon value affects brand authenticity positively.

• H4: Integrated brand presence positively impacts brand authenticity.

• H5: Brand authenticity affects brand attitude positively.

• H6: Brand attitude affects intention to recommend the brand positively.

• H7: Brand attitude affects purchase intention positively.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

8. Study 6:

Some Antecedentes and Outcomes of Brand Authenticity

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

8. Study 6:

Some Antecedentes and Outcomes of Brand Authenticity

• Procedure: Questionnaire, non-student sample with n=195, average age of participants of 46.2

years.

• The study focuses on brands from the soft drink industry, as this product category

demonstrates the greatest dispersion regarding the mean authenticity values in our

studies.

• Each participant rated the extent to which the items described the authenticity of the

brand that is assigned to him or her, the brand authenticity antecedents, and

consequences.

• Results:H1: not supported. (β = -.11, p < .2)

H2: brand local icon value (β = .34, p < .01)

H3: brand heritage (β = .29, p < .01)

H4: integrated brand presence (β = .41, p < .01)

H5: brand authenticity -> brand attitude positively (β = .52, p < .01).

H6: brand attitude -> word-of-mouth intention (β = .72, p < .01)

H7: brand attitude -> purchase intention (β = .67, p < .01)

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

8. Study 6:

Some Antecedentes and Outcomes of Brand Authenticity

χ² (311) = 603.16, p < .001, NFI = .87, CFI = .93, GFI = .82 and RMSEA = .07

n.s.

β=.29

β=.34

β=.41

β=.52β=.72

β=.67

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

Conclusions and Further Research

Conclusions:

We identified brand authenticity as a construct consisting of four dimensions:

continuity, originality, reliability, and naturalness – with the dimensions being

differentially evaluated for various brands.

The finalized brand authenticity scale (15-items) is reasonable regarding its length

and therefore easy to implement.

The existence of the four-factor model is consistent across samples and studies.

Further research:

Re-analyze Antecedents and consequences of Brand Authenticity?

Different types of product: Are they relevant to the level of brand authenticity

perceived and required by the consumer?

Validate the scale in other countries by paying particular attention to the country-

specific differences in response behavior.

Long-term consequences of brand authenticity and longitudinal research on the

development of brand authenticity over time.

September 2013 | Brand Authenticity | Manfred Bruhn, Verena Schoenmueller, Daniela Schaefer, Daniel Heinrich

Thank you!

…time for a coffee?