Brands often incentivize influencers to review their products. However, such incentivized product reviews may reflect negatively on the influencers’ credibility and authenticity, especially if the reviews are positive. Given the more personal nature of influencer-crafted reviews than other product review formats, we posit that the motives to accept incentives—disclosed by the influencer—determine followers’ reactions to incentivized reviews. In one survey, three experiments, and one field study, we contribute to prior research by showing that intrinsic incentivization acceptance motives can mitigate the negative effects of positive incentivized reviews on credibility and, ultimately, revisit intention and behavior. Moreover, we extend past work by demonstrating that influencer type (review vs. lifestyle) determines followers’ perceptions of influencer authenticity, feelings of betrayal, word of mouth, and revisit intention in reaction to an incentivized review. Specifically, we find that review influencer followers’ reactions are determined by their perceptions of incentivized review commonness, such that motives matter more if incentivization is less common, while motives matter less if incentivized review are perceived to be more common. By contrast, we show that lifestyle influencer followers’ reactions are driven by the communicated incentivization acceptance motives, regardless of the perceived commonness of incentivized reviews.
- Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science - Member
- Marketing - Member
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