Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 49–59 | Cite as

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

  • Jasmina IlicicEmail author
  • Stacey M. Baxter
  • Alicia Kulczynski
Original Article


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.


Celebrity responsibility Co-branding Authenticity Cause-related marketing Purchase 



The authors thank the Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle, Australia, for sponsoring this study.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasmina Ilicic
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stacey M. Baxter
    • 2
  • Alicia Kulczynski
    • 2
  1. 1.Monash Business SchoolMonash UniversityCaulfield EastAustralia
  2. 2.Newcastle Business SchoolThe University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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