Brand Authenticity: The Understanding of Consumers Need for Authenticity and how it Plays Out With Brands

Henriette Conradi & Pia Kristoffersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


There is identified a tendency in the society where some consumers are critical of the current commercial focus, therefore some individuals have a need to seek for meaning in the more real and genuine. This influence consumer’s motivation and behavior, and therefore they seek a deeper meaning in the products they consume, hence more authentic brands. The thesis address what makes a brand authentic and consumers underlying motivation for purchasing authentic brands. The thesis is an explorative study, where the findings are based on empirical evidence and theoretical aspects. The theoretical aspects are applied to achieve understanding about authentic existence, consumer behavior and motivation, branding, modern demands for authenticity and brand authenticity. The empirical investigations are phenomenological studies of Scandinavian Millennials residing in Copenhagen. Semi-structured interviews are applied to collect data from the respondents. This data is further analyzed by applying a thematic analysis. We identified several factors within the following overarching themes: authentic brands, inauthentic brands, motivation, consumer segmentation and product categories. The results suggested that authentic brands are different, original, have high quality, conduct social responsibility, have a vision and purpose, and finally, a brand that is commonly perceived as authentic. Further, the results suggested that the consumers motivation for purchase was selfexpression and realization, responsibility, a sense of belonging and being in opposition of today's society. Based on the analysis five segments were identified, due to their difference in interest and motivation for purchasing authentic brands. Finally, differences within product categories were addressed, as it is varying what is important for the consumers within each category in terms of brand authenticity. Finally, the thesis contributes with insights that the concept “authentic brands” is highly subjective. Hence, it is important that brand managers contemplate that the concept varies within consumer segments and product categories, in order to create authentic brands.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages117