The personal influence of Instagram bloggers on consumer–brand interactions: brands as tribal artifacts

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Popular press reports that some bloggers active on Instagram are attracting a large number of followers and strongly shaping their brand-related perceptions. Academic examination of the nature and extent of influence of Instagram bloggers (IBs) on consumers’ brand-related perceptions is yet to occur. In response, the article reports findings from three studies that examined the personal influence of IBs. The first study derived a grounded framework, hypotheses and measurement scales from focus group data. The second study used survey data to test the structural coherence of the grounded framework, and the reliability and validity of newly developed measurement scales, and produced a purified theoretical model. Finally, a third study surveyed Instagram users for the purpose of validating the purified theoretical model. Findings yield a new framework and scales for assessing IBs influence on brand-perceptions and consumer–brand relationships. The research finds that IBs are tribal leaders anointed by their followers on the medium; they curate brands for their followers’ consumption, and endow the status of tribal artifacts to brands.


DOI 10.1057/s41262-020-00203-9

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