A Consumer Approach towards Assessing the Value of Co-Creation
The classic view of marketing has always regarded the customer as external to the firm and a passive recipient of the firm’s value creation effort. However, there is an increasing conception that in order to succeed in today’s challenging market environment, value needs to be co-created by companies and consumers, and co-creation is seen as an innovative method to facilitate these value creation activities. One of the primary limiting factors of greater consumer engagement has historically been the poor connectivity between customers and producers. The Internet is regarded as a new form of technology that significantly facilitates and enhances the connectivity between customers and producers, and through this, the phenomenon of virtual co-creation emerged. Virtual co-creation is a considerably new and growing phenomenon that offers a new opportunity for marketers to better satisfy customer requirements by involving them more fully in the creation of a new product. While the concept of virtual co-creation has been thoroughly examined at a conceptual level, empirical research in this concept is limited and has primarily focused on co-creation in a firm setting. Thus, minimum attention has been paid to the phenomenon of co-creation from a consumer perspective. Specifically focusing on co-creation in the New Product Development context, this study examines consumer value perceptions of the virtual co-creation method, and its subsequent impact on consumer future intention to use the co-creation method. A Value-based Technological Acceptance Model was adopted to measure consumers’ value perception of the co-creation method. Using My Starbucks Idea and Dell’s Design Studio as the examples, this model was empirically tested in two instances: 1) the ‘contribution’ & non-technological product category, and 2) the ‘selection’ & technological product category. The study found that consumers, in general, had a positive value perception of co-creation methods, which, in turn, positively influence their future intention to use the co-creation method. This confirmed that virtual co-creation, as a new method for firms and consumers to collaborate in creating a new product, was well received by consumers. With the existence of this opportunity for collaboration, virtual co-creation is deemed to be a trend that is hard to ignore as it offers a promising and a more holistic approach to a New Product Development strategy.