Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 481–493 | Cite as

The consumer quest for authenticity: The multiplicity of meanings within the MG subculture of consumption

  • Thomas W. Leigh
  • Cara Peters
  • Jeremy Shelton


Authenticity in the consumption context is an important topic within the marketing literature. This article explores authenticity’s multiplicity of meanings within the MG brand subculture of consumption. An ethnographic approach guided data collection, which included participant observation, photo and document reviews, informal conversations, and formal, in-depth interviews with 58 MG owners. The data show that MG owners gain a sense of authenticity in the consumption context via the object and its ownership, consumer experiences, and identity construction and confirmation. As an object, an MG is authentic if it broaches an ideal standard and preserves the brand heritage. An MG experience is authentic when an owner interacts with the car through driving and self-work activities. Finally, an MG owner authenticates his or her identity through role performance and communal commitment. Implications are discussed in light of brand management.


brand authenticity consumer subcultures subcultural capital brand heritage existential authenticity brand community 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas W. Leigh
    • 1
  • Cara Peters
    • 2
  • Jeremy Shelton
    • 3
  1. 1.University of GeorgiaUSA
  2. 2.Winthrop UniversityRock HillUSA
  3. 3.Lamar UniversityBeaumontUSA

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