Purpose: Brand authenticity has emerged as a strategic imperative for many firms. The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effect of consumer perceptions of brand marketing communications on brand authenticity of fast-moving consumer goods. Design/methodology/approach: Direct and indirect pathways from brand marketing communications to brand authenticity were conceptualized. Data were collected from US energy drink consumers and analysed using structural equation modelling. Multiple marketing mix variables and context-relevant covariates have been controlled for. Findings: Direct and indirect pathways to building brand authenticity have been observed. The total effect of brand marketing communications on brand authenticity is strong, thereby highlighting the predictor’s overall effectiveness in shaping the ultimate outcome. Research limitations/implications: The focus on consumer-perceived authenticity as opposed to objective authenticity complements the prior literature. An integrative perspective on brand marketing communications is offered, specifying it as an antecedent of perceived brand authenticity. Practical implications: An important implication is that investments into brand marketing communications will likely influence perceived brand authenticity. Such investments may also have favourable implications for the clarity of brand positioning. Overall, brand marketing communications are effective tools for building consumer-perceived brand authenticity. Originality/value: A need to outline managerially controllable drivers of authenticity was addressed. How consumer perceptions of brand marketing communications influence brand authenticity via direct and indirect mechanisms was demonstrated. The existence of authenticity in fast-moving consumer goods was also demonstrated.
- Brand authenticity
- Brand marketing communications
- Clarity of positioning