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Brand authentication: creating and maintaining brand auras

Nicholas Alexander (Centre for Research in Marketing, School of Management and Business, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 3 April 2009




This paper aims to consider the process of creating and maintaining brand auras through the assertion of authenticity and to address the gap in the literature.


A case study research strategy was adopted. The organisational processes considered justified the case study approach. Interviews with key actors were supported by other methods of gathering data and the triangulation of findings: documentary analysis and participant observation also provided valuable insights.


The paper evaluates the validity of Beverland's six attributes of authenticity to the brand considered in this research. The results show that three of the attributes are more significant in the case considered here: stylistic consistency, relationship to place and downplaying commercial motives.

Research limitations/implications

Future research may wish to consider other mass‐market products and the relative importance of identified sources of authenticity. Consideration should be given to the degree to which consumers are willing to assimilate and act on messages related to authenticity and its antecedents.


The findings are conceptually developed with reference to Leigh et al.'s levels of authenticity and considered with reference to six sources of authenticity important in the creation of brand auras. This paper originally and innovatively considers authenticity by looking indepth at the way in which a company operating in a mass‐market context, rather than a luxury market setting, seeks to assert authenticity.



Alexander, N. (2009), "Brand authentication: creating and maintaining brand auras", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 43 No. 3/4, pp. 551-562.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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