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Abstract

This study is based on recent advances in celebrity traits and self-determination researches to address how consumers develop the strong attachment to a "star brand," and the effect of consumer`s attachment to star brand on evaluation of product brand sponsored by the star. We use the consumers` need satisfaction and star traits as major causal factors that influence consumer`s attachment to a star brand. Specifically this article uses autonomy need, relatedness need, competence need as the dimensions of need satisfaction and expertness, trustworthiness, likeability, and similarity as the key star traits. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of these factors on the consumer`s attachment to star brand and how consumer`s evaluation of product brand sponsored by star is moderated by the fitness level of between the image of star brand and the image of sponsored product brand. To collect the data, survey was taken in a University located in Incheon. Collected data are analysed using SPSS 15.0 and AMOS 7.0. The results show that when the star brand is perceived as more trustworthy and likeable, and satisfies autonomy need and relatedness need, the consumer is more likely to become strongly attached to him or her. The hypothesis that consumer`s attachment to star brand will have the positive influence on the evaluation of product brand sponsored by star is supported. And hypothesis that consumer`s attitude to a sponsored product brand is moderated by the fitness level of between the image of star brand and the image of sponsored product brand is also supported. The empirical results imply that star brand to which consumers are attached may have the significant positive impact on the consumers` evaluation process of endorsed product brand and purchase behavior, and that marketers should consider need dimensions which target consumers want to satisfy and the fitness level of between the image of star brand being considered as endorser and the image of product brand.

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