Keeping it real: examining the influence of co-branding authenticity in cause-related marketing

Jasmina Ilicic, Stacey M. Baxter, Alicia Kulczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Brand Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Authenticity
  • Cause-related marketing
  • Celebrity responsibility
  • Co-branding
  • Purchase

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