Consumer perceptions of brand authenticity in cause-related event sponsorship

PhD Thesis

Campbell, Caroline. 2022. Consumer perceptions of brand authenticity in cause-related event sponsorship. PhD Thesis Doctor of Professional Studies. University of Southern Queensland.

Consumer perceptions of brand authenticity in cause-related event sponsorship

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsCampbell, Caroline
1. FirstA/Pr Melissa Johnson Morgan
2. SecondProf Jane Summers
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Professional Studies
Number of Pages259
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Authenticity has been studied extensively in psychology and marketing literature. Likewise, corporate social responsibility has received increasing attention – both through scholarly interest and in practise as consumers demand companies demonstrate social goodness. Some companies have also realised there are additional benefits in communicating corporate social responsibility because it can help improve brand image and reputational damage. This is especially relevant in the financial services industry where the ongoing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches, interest rate hikes and reported misconduct sours public opinion. The intended contribution of this work is at the nexus of studies on brand authenticity and corporate social responsibility, with cause-related event sponsorship providing a popular platform for brands to communicate their societal values. Its uniqueness lies in the consideration of the consumers’ perception of brand authenticity and the need for consumers to pursue their own self-authenticating goals through participation in these events. Specifically, this multidisciplinary study investigates the relationship between perceptions of brand authenticity, self-authenticating goals, and consumerfocused outcomes in cause-related event sponsorship. Consumers residing in Australia who had participated in a cause-related event in the preceding three years were quantitively examined. The study answers several research enquiries with summative findings providing a way forward for companies at a time of increasing consumer skepticism about their profit-serving motives in sponsoring cause-related events. The findings firstly show there is a significant and positive relationship between the consumers’ self-concordant goals, social identity and perceptions of brand authenticity. Secondly, a significant and positive relationship exists between perception of brand authenticity and consumer-focused outcomes. It suggests that consumers must be able to meet their self-concordant goals and social identity requirements to generate co-creation outcomes. Independently, perceptions of brand authenticity also positively impact their generation of consumer-focused outcomes. The intention of this work is to offer sponsorship practitioners with a way forward to meet the growing consumer demand for social morality in general, and authenticity, more specifically, in cause-related event sponsorship.

Keywordsbrand authenticity; cause=related event sponsorship; consumer perceptions; self authentication goals
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350604. Marketing communications
350601. Consumer behaviour
350605. Marketing management (incl. strategy and customer relations)
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Business
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