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Consumers’ identification with corporate brands: Brand prestige, anthropomorphism and engagement in social media

Urška Tuškej (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Klement Podnar (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 12 February 2018



This paper aims to examine relationships between consumer-brand identification (CBI), brand prestige (BP), brand anthropomorphism (BA) and consumers’ active engagement in brand activities on social media in corporate brand settings.


Data collected with an online survey on a sample randomly drawn from an online panel of consumers were used to test the proposed theoretical model.


Anthropomorphism and prestige of corporate brands were found to positively influence consumer-brand identification. Also, CBI positively affects consumers’ active engagement and fully mediates the effect of BP and BA on consumers-brand engagement (CBE) with corporate brands.

Research limitations/implications

Further research in other markets and on a broader set of corporate brands would additionally validate results and enable comparisons of impacts among different brand categories. The data were gathered in one country, so further research in other markets would additionally validate results of this study.

Practical implications

Chief executives responsible for corporate brand management are provided with some insights on how appropriate corporate brand identity management can strengthen CBI and stimulate CBE on social media.


This paper provides some novel insights into the research on consumer-brand identification. It is the first study (to the authors’ knowledge) that empirically supports the positive influence of brand anthropomorphism on CBI in corporate brand settings. It also contributes to the clarification of previously inconsistent results of the influence of BP on CBI. By showing that consumers’ identification with a corporate brand plays a vital role in increasing consumers’ active engagement on social media, the study contributes to the relatively sparse body of research on CBE.



The authors would like to thank the Slovenian Institute for Market and Media Research, Mediana, for supporting the research. The authors would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions on the manuscript.


Tuškej, U. and Podnar, K. (2018), "Consumers’ identification with corporate brands: Brand prestige, anthropomorphism and engagement in social media", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 3-17.



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