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What makes followers loyal? The role of influencer interactivity in building influencer brand equity

Sunghee Jun (The Institute of Management Research, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea)
Jisu Yi (Department of Business Administration, Sejong University, Seoul, South Korea)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 6 July 2020

Issue publication date: 5 September 2020




This paper aims to present a mechanism that explains how followers become loyal to social media influencers. It suggests influencer interactivity as a unique feature of influencer brands and investigates how it affects influencer authenticity, emotional attachment, and thus brand loyalty.


A cross-sectional survey of 282 social media users was conducted to estimate the conceptual model. Participants were asked to respond to the survey questions based on their perceptions of a specific influencer they follow on social media. The relationships among variables were tested via structural equation modeling.


The findings show that influencer interactivity is positively related to influencer authenticity and emotional attachment. Influencer authenticity mediates the effect of interactivity on emotional attachment and directly affects brand trust. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that followers’ emotional attachment to influencer brands increases brand loyalty through brand trust.


This study is the first to approach influencers as a brand, rather than a brand endorser. Specifically, this study conceptualizes the influencer brand’s interactivity and finds a link between influencer interactivity and the followers’ perception of influencer authenticity. It discusses why influencer interactivity and authenticity play key roles in shaping influencer brand equity. This study contributes to both the human brands and the influencer marketing literature by proposing a model to understand how the brand equity of the influencer brand is formed.



Jun, S. and Yi, J. (2020), "What makes followers loyal? The role of influencer interactivity in building influencer brand equity", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 803-814.



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