A brand’s success lies not only in its corporate image and reputation, but also in the relationship between its leadership and consumers. Especially on social media, it’s not just about familiarity with the CEO, but a CEO’s brand image—the associations consumers make between the brand and a chief executive—that predicts how credible its advertising appears. This is a key finding of a study in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), available online now. Researchers in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K. together broke down a CEO’s brand image into a multidimensional construct. Drawing from earlier theoretical and proven frameworks, they gave the construct three dimensions—personality, performance and leadership. From there, they developed a reliable nine-item scale to capture these dimensions and quantify them.
The study concludes that CEO brand image is completely independent from corporate brand image, corporate brand reputation, product brand awareness and even CEO familiarity. Instead, a CEO’s brand image is a predictor of how credible their company’s advertisements, including social media
“The CEO brand-image scale could help advertising and public-relations agencies predict advertisements’ credibility by considering the CEO brand image, especially in social-media contexts.”
advertisements, are. As a result, it’s paramount for a CEO to manage his or her brand image carefully, particularly on social media. This study also offers the nine-item CEO brand image scale for assessment purposes. The authors say this will be particularly useful for advertising and public relations agencies.
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