This research provides knowledge and builds theory related to how and why consumers engage in unsolicited innovation with existing products in order to create new ones. Specifically, this research presents an in-depth qualitative exploration of the motivations consumers have for innovating with existing offerings, of their reasons for innovating autonomously from the organization(s) linked to the source material of their innovation, and of their interpretation of the overall context in which they engage in innovation. This paper reveals that there are two main types of ‘creative consumers’ – those who innovate with products in order to solve problems or needs, and those who innovate with products for the sake of creative exploration. Conceptualizations of consumer behavior as either predominately utilitarian (i.e., task-related and rational) or as hedonic (i.e., fun or pleasurable) can be applied to understand innovation by these consumers. In addition, this research reveals that these consumers generally do not have relationships with the firm associated with the source material of their innovation because they do not perceive a benefit to such a relationship. They are indeed enabled by access to technology and by the digital environment more generally. Implications for managers are discussed. This research provides depth and insight on current understanding of the motivations consumers have for innovating with offerings despite not being invited or encouraged to do so by firms.
|State||Published - Dec 2019|