Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Summer 7-14-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Naveen Donthu

Second Advisor

Dr. Wesley J. Johnston

Third Advisor

Dr. Denish Shah

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Boonghee Yoo


Academics and practitioners agree that perceived brand authenticity and consumer brand engagement* are each very important areas, whose influence continues to grow. With the acceleration of consumers use of social media platforms in all aspects life, including interaction with brands, it is essential for firms to provide experiences consumers view as “real” and authentic. Being perceived as authentic is important for members of all generations, who rate authenticity among the top traits that drives buying behavior. Perceived brand authenticity is especially influential to members of generation z and millennials, as ninety percent of these generations cite authenticity as one their top two factors in buying decisions and interaction. With the combined buying power of these two age groups expected to exceed any other generation in 2022, managers and academics are looking for ways to drive perceived authenticity and connect with these individuals. The importance of perceived brand authenticity is wide-ranging in its influence across age-groups and brand segments. Even though researchers have been studying brand authenticity for more than 25 years, an extensive literature review showed disparity in accepted/applied definitions and measurement scales. Also, many extant definitions and scales only address specific facets of brand authenticity, only providing partial coverage of the construct. This has led to stagnated progress in better understanding this key construct. Chapter 2 proposes a new definition and an amalgamated scale that addresses brand authenticity holistically, in a relatable manner. Through a literature review, surveys, and interviews with managers, similar gaps were found in consumer brand engagement research, as advancements in this field have not kept up with the constructs growing importance academically and practically. Proposed antecedents in extant literature have lacked novelty and have failed to keep pace with fast-evolving perceptions and attitudes of today’s consumer. This lack of relevancy had led to challenges for managers in creating and driving brand engagement, and the powerful resulting outcomes, including higher brand loyalty and increased purchase intentions. In Chapter 3 we propose two contemporary pathways to drive high levels of consumer brand engagement. The pathways are part of a theoretical model, with empirically proven theories serving as a strong underlying framework, and antecedents serving as “levers” managers can control to drive desirable outcomes. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses, consequences, and the full model. The testing led to impactful, significant findings that are predicted to advance the knowledge of perceived brand authenticity and consumer brand engagement, while opening the door for exciting future forward-thinking research.


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