This study aims to investigate a randomized 3 (endorser type: celebrity vs CEO vs expert) × 2 (product type: hedonic vs utility) between-respondents factorial experiment to inspect the effects of the endorsers and product types on consumers’ engagement in BRM through brand-relationship variables [i.e. self-brand connection (SBC), perceived product attachment (PPA) and source credibility (SC)]. Marketing in a digital era is witnessing a rising trend of “brand resurrection as revolution” led by consumer power. The successful revitalization of various dead brands provides some new opportunities for companies to engage millennial consumers in brand resurrection movements (BRM) through the right choice of brand endorsers. The new-found love of companies for the revitalization of long-forgotten brands has attracted considerable interest among scholars and marketing practitioners. Despite the brand resurrection’s high practical relevance, little is known in marketing research about how to revive failing brands back to life.
Using source credibility theory (SCT) as a lens, this study conducted two studies (i.e. Study 1, N = 300; Study 2, N = 300) and builds on an analysis of data from Pakistani millennials. The hypotheses were inspected using both structural equation modeling and SPSS’s PROCESS macro.
Through two studies, the authors find that the match between endorser types and product types affects customer motivation to engage in BRM via SBC, PPA and SC (i.e. attractiveness, trustworthiness and expertise).[AQ2] The results showed that for utilitarian products, both SBC and PPA mediate the link between endorser types and BRM, but for hedonic products, PPA does not play a role. Similarly, the authors’ results indicate that for hedonic products, attractiveness, trustworthiness and expertise mediate the link between endorser types and BRM, but for utilitarian products, trustworthiness does not play a role.
The results of this research will help marketing managers devise effective brand endorsers strategies in reviving failing brands. Specifically, this endeavor highlights that understanding brand advertisements merely in terms of celebrity endorsement restricts the full potential that brand advertisements could have and also that a comprehensive understanding must include expert and chief executive officers (CEO) endorsers. Therefore, one of the central contributions of this research is the introduction of expert and CEO endorsers and the evidence that both celebrity (i.e. celebrity and CEO) and non-celebrity endorsers (i.e. experts) have an impact on consumers’ motivation to engage in BRM.
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first endeavors of its kind to empirically explore consumer attitude/motivation behind participation in reviving failing brands. The significance of this work is underscored by the fact that numerous dead brands are being brought back by companies because of consumer–brand co-creation movements.
This research is sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation (NNSF) of China under Grant No. 71672068.
Gilal, N.G., Gilal, F.G., Zhang, J., Gilal, R.G., Gong, Z. and Gilal, W.G. (2021), "The role of endorsers in bringing defunct brands back to life: theory and evidence", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 671-690. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-03-2019-2315
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