Celebrities as human brands: an inquiry on stakeholder-actor co-creation of brand identities

Dave Centeno, Jeff Jianfeng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the co-creation of human brands exemplified by celebrities in a stakeholder-actor approach. Combining theoretical frameworks of brand identity co-creation and stakeholder paradigms, demonstrates how human brand identities co-create by multiple stakeholder-actors who have resources and incentives in the activities that make up an enterprise of a human brand, including the celebrities themselves, consumer-fans, and business entities. By utilizing observational, archival netnographic data from popular social media platforms, four exemplars of celebrity identities demonstrate the co-creation of human brands. Findings illustrate key stakeholder-actors’ participation in the co-creation process as well as sociocultural codes, including social construction and negotiation of identities, parasocialization, influence projection, legitimization, and utilization of human brand identities. These human brand identity dynamics advance a stakeholder-actor paradigm of brand co-creation that adapts to the predominant consumer culture and human ideals that surround the celebrity. Results inform implications and future research on celebrity brand marketing management and co-creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Brand identity
  • Celebrities
  • Co-creation
  • Human brands
  • Social media
  • Stakeholder

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