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EMAC 2022 Annual


HOW INFLUENCER-BRAND RELATIONSHIP CAN BE PERCEIVED AS AUTHENTIC
(A2022-107243)

Published: May 24, 2022

AUTHORS

Gwarlann De Kerviler, IESEG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT LEM-CNRS (UMR 9221); Raphaelle BUTORI, ESSEC

ABSTRACT

Because of the size of their audience and the relationship nurtured with followers, influencers have become key elements in brands communication strategies. A central concept in influencer marketing is authenticity: individuals expect influencers to be authentic in their content, and they expect brands to be authentic in their values. In this research, we move away from a one-sided perspective of authenticity to study how a relationship between a brand and an influencer can be authentic. Through three studies, we identify two factors which signal that a relationship between a brand and an influencer is authentic: intrinsic motivations and transparency. However, the respective weights of these two drivers differ: for influencers, intrinsic motivations are central, whereas for brands, transparency exert the strongest influence. These findings reveal two potential distinct strategies when entering into a partnership: Influencer intrinsic authenticity and Brand open-book authenticity.