Characteristics of Innovating Users in a Consumer Goods Field: An Empirical Study of Sport-Related Product Consumers

44 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2002

See all articles by Christian Lüthje

Christian Lüthje

Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: January 2002

Abstract

The author reports on a survey of the innovation activities and characteristics of 153 users of outdoor-related consumer products. He finds a high level of innovation by these consumers. Thirty-seven percent report that they have developed ideas for new or improved products. The results also reveal that innovating users can be reliably distinguished from non-innovating ones by characteristics such as the benefit they expect from using their innovations and the level of expertise they have in their sport.

Taken together, these two findings - frequent innovation by consumers and the possibility to identify efficiently those who innovate - imply that innovation by users can be an important source of new product ideas for consumer goods companies. Effective utilization of this resource will require significant changes in methodologies for customer-driven idea generation.

Keywords: innovation, user innovation, product development

Suggested Citation

Lüthje, Christian, Characteristics of Innovating Users in a Consumer Goods Field: An Empirical Study of Sport-Related Product Consumers (January 2002). MIT Sloan Working Paper No. 4331-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=298015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.298015

Christian Lüthje (Contact Author)

Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH) ( email )

Hamburg, D-21071
Germany

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

50 Memorial Drive
E52-556
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-7155 (Phone)

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