Celebrity CEOs’ credibility, image of their brands and consumer materialism


  • Huaman-Ramirez Richard
  • Merunka Dwight

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Purpose This paper aims to model and estimate how celebrity chief executive officers (CEOs) credibility (i.e. expertise, trustworthiness, attractiveness) is related to their brand image (i.e. functional, sensory/visual). This paper further examines the effects of consumer materialism on both celebrity CEOs’ credibility and the image of their brand. Design/methodology/approach A total of 260 participants knowledgeable of CEOs and their corresponding brands completed an online questionnaire in a cross-sectional study. The data were analyzed through covariance-based structural equation modeling. Findings Celebrity CEOs’ expertise and attractiveness are positively related to both functional and sensory/visual images of their brands. Results also demonstrate the positive effect of materialism on both celebrity CEOs’ credibility and brand image. Research limitations/implications The research was conducted in one country (France) using a cross-sectional design. Additional studies in other settings or countries should be carried out to establish the generalizability of results and strengthen causality inferences. Practical implications CEOs need to understand and manage their key role as celebrities, given the direct influence they may have on consumer brand perceptions and behavior. Originality/value This study refines the relationship between celebrity CEOs’ credibility and brand image. It is the first to introduce and validate the effect of consumer materialism on the perception of celebrity CEOs.

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