When Customers Get Clever: Managerial Approaches to Dealing With Creative Consumers

9 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2007  

Pierre R. Berthon

Bentley University

Leyland Pitt

Simon Fraser University - Segal Graduate School of Business

Ian P. McCarthy

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business

Steven M. Kates

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business

Abstract

Abstract Creative consumers (defined as customers who adapt, modify, or transform a proprietary offering) represent an intriguing paradox for business. On one hand, they can signify a black hole for future revenue, with breach of copyright and intellectual property. On the other hand, they represent a gold mine of ideas and business opportunities. Central to business is the need to create and capture value, and creative consumers demand a shift in the mindsets and business models of how firms accomplish both. Based upon their attitude and action toward customer innovation, we develop a typology of firms' stances toward creative consumers. We then consider the implications of the stances model for corporate strategy and examine a three-step approach to dealing with creative consumers: awareness, analysis, and response.

Keywords: Creative customers, strategic response, lead users, innovation

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Berthon, Pierre R. and Pitt, Leyland and McCarthy, Ian P. and Kates, Steven M., When Customers Get Clever: Managerial Approaches to Dealing With Creative Consumers. Business Horizons, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 39-47, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=959581

Pierre R. Berthon (Contact Author)

Bentley University ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02145
United States

Leyland Pitt

Simon Fraser University - Segal Graduate School of Business ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Ian P. McCarthy

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Steven M. Kates

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Colombia V5A 1S6
Canada

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