The role of anthropomorphism and authenticity in value creation : the case of artisanal luxury brands
Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Brand authenticity represents a new consumer consciousness for the commitment toward real, honest and genuine brands. In a world that is teeming with the fake, contrived and false due to a sheer overload of global crises such as political injustice, global warming, financial instability, poverty and income inequality. Consumers are no longer accepting brands at face value but rather exhibit an inherent search for what can be confirmed as authentic in an effort to reduce uncertainties. In addition, the concept of anthropomorphism has been brought forth as another means to which consumers diminish uncertainty. However, brand authenticity and anthropomorphism are sorely under researched. The present study aims to investigate what role if any brand authenticity and anthropomorphism play in the creation of consumer value. In the evaluation of a brands authenticity, consumers adhere to a number of cues. In particular, three brand authenticity cues have been identified namely indexical, iconic and existential. Although past studies have attempted to identify antecedent factors of brand authenticity, previous research is scant in categorising such factors as indexical, iconic or existential. Therefore, a secondary objective of the present study was to identify and categorise brand authenticity antecedents according to the three major authenticity cues. In addition, little research has investigated brand authenticity and anthropomorphism in a luxury context. Luxury research has called for more studies into ‘newer’ avenues of luxury. The focus of the present study, therefore examines the role of brand authenticity and anthropomorphism in the creation of value in the context of artisanal luxury brands, specifically that of craft gin brands. A total of 315 South African Generation Y respondents were recruited to complete an online questionnaire about craft gin brands, asking questions about brand authenticity, anthropomorphism and value. The results revealed a plethora of findings that led to a number of managerial implications. Yet the primary objective that is whether authenticity and anthropomorphism have a role in the creation of value amongst South African Generation Y consumers in the case of artisanal luxury craft gin brands was supported. From the findings, managerial implications were formulated and opportunities for future research were suggested.
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