We introduce co-branding authenticity (genuine and real) as a driver of consumer intentions to purchase cause-related products. We argue that celebrity social responsibility influences the perceived authenticity of triadic co-branding partnerships (celebrity, brand, and cause). Across three experiments, we demonstrate that celebrity social responsibility increases perceptions of co-branding authenticity, which, in turn, enhances purchase intentions of cause-related products. We demonstrate that co-branding authenticity is a stronger predictor of purchase intentions of cause-related products than co-branding fit. We also determine that the effect of co-branding authenticity on the purchase intention of cause-related products is influenced by consumer self-transcendence values. Consumers high in self-transcendence (i.e., concerned with the welfare of other people) possess greater intentions to purchase the cause-related product when the celebrity is perceived as socially responsible and the co-branding partnership is perceived as authentic. This research has important ramifications for brand managers in the selection of partners with which to form a triadic co-branding partnership for the purpose of enhancing corporate social responsibility.
- Cause-related marketing
- Celebrity responsibility