Breves, Liebers, Abt, and Kunze

MANAGEMENT SLANT

  • The fit of influencer and brand product is important for the perceived expertise and trustworthiness of the endorser. To avoid damaging their credibility, influencers should avoid endorsing obviously incongruent brands.
  • If social-media influencers wish to promote a brand that might be slightly incongruent, they should create a particularly personal post (e.g., incorporating a personal story or addressing their followers very directly) to generate high levels of parasocial interaction and to strengthen parasocial relationships.
  • A strong influencer–brand fit increases consumers’ brand attitudes and behavioral intentions, both directly and indirectly through the influencer’s perceived credibility. Advertising specialists should select social-media influencers that match the brand.
  • If brand managers want to use an influencer who is not a perfect match to target new potential consumers explicitly or to change their brand image, they should use someone who has a very strong connection with their audience, because followers who report strong parasocial relationships are less skeptical.