Dr. Bob McDonald, United Supermarkets Professor of Marketing, and his co-authors, Abhishek Dwivedi and Lester Johnson, both from the Charles Sturt University in Melbourne, Australia, won the Stetik Group Best Paper Award at the 4th International Consumer Brand Relationship Conference. The conference - which was held May 21-23 at the Porto Business School in Portugal - brings together researchers and practitioners with an interest in the relationships consumers have with brands
Their paper, "Celebrity Endorsement, Self-Brand Connection and Consumer-Based Brand Equity," examined the impact of celebrity endorser credibility on consumer self-brand connection and endorsed brand equity. Through a cross-sectional survey of 382 consumers of sports drinks in the U.S., McDonald and his fellow researchers found that celebrity endorsements impact endorsed brand equity via two pathways. First, they observed a direct effect of endorser credibility on endorsed brand equity, which is positively moderated by the degree of consumer-perceived endorser-brand congruence. Second, self-brand connection partially mediated the effect of endorser credibility on endorsed brand equity, supporting an indirect mechanism of brand equity enhancement.
Practical implications of this paper show that brands can now consider using celebrities as tools to develop meaningful self-concept related connections with consumers. Additionally, the research supports the use of celebrity endorsers as direct brand equity enhancing tools.
With 20 countries represented, the International Consumer Brand Relationships Conference is the world's leading networking and educational event. Since its first conference in 2010, the aim of the event is to build a community of experts who are interested in the relationships consumers have with products, companies, stores, celebrities, or place brands. The event provides an ideal opportunity not only for Ph.D. students and young faculty members sharing their most recent high-quality work with other experts in that field of research but also accomplished scholars and practitioners.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.