Demystifying the evaluation of brands endorsed by religious leaders in the emerging markets
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This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in International Marketing Review.
Purpose: This paper uses social identity theory to investigate the sequential mediating effects of extrinsic religiosity and perceived role of religious leaders in the impact of consumers' intrinsic religiosity on perceived value of brands endorsed by religious leaders.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper comprises two survey-based studies with urban consumers in two emerging markets, India (N = 303) and Indonesia (N = 150).
Findings: Intrinsic religiosity has a direct positive effect on extrinsic religiosity, which in turn mediates the effect of intrinsic religiosity on the perceived value of the brands endorsed by religious leaders in both India and Indonesia. However, extrinsic religiosity has a significant positive effect on the perceived value of these brands through the perceived role of religious leaders in India but not in Indonesia.
Research limitations/implications: Samples for both the studies are drawn from urban consumers in India and Indonesia, which also have large rural populations. Hence, future research may use both urban and rural samples from other countries to replicate our results.
Practical implications: The study findings may help both local and global brand managers in the emerging markets with religious societies, such as India and Indonesia, to understand how they may use endorsements by religious leaders to manage the differences in the impact of consumers' intrinsic versus extrinsic religiosity on their brand perceptions and evaluations.
Originality/value: This paper extends social identity theory to the international marketing context by showing that religious consumers in the emerging markets are likely to support the brands endorsed by religious leaders vis-à-vis other national or multinational brands. Thus, religious identification offers a unique sacred worldview and unlimited group membership, unlike other social groups, especially in the highly religious emerging markets.
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