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Companies increasingly share the stories behind their brand’s founding to engage consumers. The current studies explore how the motives that underlie business formation in founder’s stories influence consumer brand perceptions. Specifically, stories that highlight self-transcendence (versus self-enhancement) founder values enhance the perceived authenticity of the focal brand. We examine narrative fidelity (Fisher, 1984) as a mechanism of narrative persuasion through which the audience judges whether the motives underlying character actions represent “good reasons” for action. Across three studies, we show that the values underlying a founder’s motivation to start a business influence the perceived authenticity of the associated brand, and this relationship is mediated by narrative fidelity. Further, reader’s personal values moderate the influence of founder’s values on narrative fidelity judgments, and the relationship between narrative fidelity and brand authenticity is attenuated by a merger between the original company and another company, demonstrating a boundary condition of the observed relationships.

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This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Hamby, A.; Brinberg, D.; & Daniloski, K. (2019). It's About Our Values: How Founder's Stories Influence Brand Authenticity. Psychology & Marketing, 36(11), 1014-1026.

which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1002/mar.21252. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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