Influencer Endorsements Effect on Brand Attitude and Purchase Intention: Why and how does Influencer's Content on Instagram affect their Follower's Brand Attitudes and Purchase Intention Toward Sustainable Food Brands?

Marius Rygg Ekeland & Nicolai Arntzen Borenstein

Student thesis: Master thesis


The research on Instagram-influencer’s effect through endorsements is scarce. There is currently no model that examines the triangulation between follower, influencer, and brand on Instagram. Thus, there is a gap in academic research. This gap creates a potential to construct a working model for brands to use when selecting influencer endorsement. This paper examines the use of influencer endorsement by brands in the sustainable food sector on Instagram and the effect it has on their followers. To do so, we have intended to build a model that can be used to get the most out of influencer endorsements. Furthermore, this paper aims to answer the question: “why and how influencer’s content on Instagram affect their follow’s brand attitudes and purchase intention toward sustainable food brands.” The model that is used stems from Heider’s balance theory, and the inclusion of the TEARS model, match-up hypothesis and customer-based brand equity to explore the connection between follower-influencer, influencer-brand, and brand-follower through a qualitative multi-method technique of data collection. The data is gathered from two in-depth interviews of influencers, one influencer manager, one focus group of Instagram users and a nethnography following two different sized influencers for 82 days. The main findings derived from this paper suggest; (1) Authenticity is a dimension that should be incorporated into the TEARS model as a driver for trustworthiness and credibility, (2) Brands should aim to choose influencers with attributes that they want to be associated with. Consistency in attributes in the endorser-brand relationship provides a strong match-up effect on followers, (3) Perceived quality from influencers had a substantial impact on the consumer's judgment about the brand’s overall quality and attitudes. The authors encourage further research on this topic and to explore how to improve the presented model with the future research suggestions in the paper.

EducationsMSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages188
SupervisorsAnne Martensen