«of the AM’s Brand, Corporate Identity and Reputation SIG INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SESSIONS Sessions chairs The main function of a session chair is to ...»
Practical Implications Practitioners are using co-creation to create brand identity on a daily basis, however, these practitioners may not be aware of the formal structure they are using. The development of this scale could help managers gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively co-create with their consumer base. As such, this research closes the gap between marketing literature and practitioner application by obtaining information directly from brand managers and applying that information to create, test and validate an empirical model. The methods used to obtain these results are generalizable across firm size and industry, therefore allowing for potentially any firm to be able to disseminate and use the results of this study within their organization to strengthen the co-creation of brand identity with their consumers.
The ability to harness the power of the consumer’s influence is a valuable tool for any firm, as ultimately co-creation is expected to increase value. The insights gained from consumers will enable firms to evaluate their position on co-creation and decide if they should be a brand that the consumers can influence or a brand that cannot be influence, or if they should align somewhere in the middle. With the ability to instantly connect with consumers in many online settings, firms can gauge feedback from consumers in a near real-time basis and look for trends in this feedback. The company can then decide how to implement this feedback, and the results of this study provides insight in to what the company could expect to take place when engaging the consumer in this manner.
Originality/Value The originality of this work resides on studying an area of co-creation yet to be studied. The idea of how a brand works explicitly with the consumer to create a brand identity is a timely topic that can be witnessed occurring on a daily basis in industry. Both academics and practitioners are learning about the implications of increased consumer brand engagement.
Creating a formalized model to analyze this process will close the gap between the literature and practice. The study has value due to the growing power consumers have in today’s marketplace.
KeywordsBranding, Brand Identity, Co-Creation, Engagement, Model Development
References Dijk, J, Antonides, G, & Schillewaert, N 2014, ‘Effects of co-creation claim on consumer brand perceptions and behavioural intentions’, International Journal of Consumer Studies, vol 38, no. 1, pp. 110-118.
Glaser, B & Strauss, A 1967, ‘The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research’, New York: Aldine Publishing Company.
Grönroos, C & Voima, P 2013, ‘Critical service logic: Making sense of value creation and co-creation’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 133-150.
Hatch, MJ & Schultz M 2010, ‘Toward a theory of brand co-creation with implications for brand governance’, Journal of Brand Management vol. 17, no. 8, pp. 590-604.
Iglesias, O, Ind, N & Alfaro, M 2013, ‘The organic view of the brand: A brand value cocreation model’, Journal of Brand Management vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 670-688.
Ind, N, Iglesias, O & Schultz, M 2013. ‘Building brands together: Emergence and outcomes of co-creation’, California Management Review vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 5-26.
Noel, A & Merunka, D 2013, ‘The role of brand love in consumer-brand relationships’, The Journal of Consumer Marketing vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 258-266.
Prahalad, CK & Ramaswamy, V 2004, ‘Co-creation experiences: The next practice in value creation’, Journal of Interactive Marketing vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 5-14.
What do millennials want from brands?: An assessment of design-related product demands Kimmel, Allan J.
In order to survive in a competitive context, businesses are challenged more than ever to provide offerings that satisfy the evolving needs and preferences of increasingly demanding consumers. Recent surveys attest to the fact that consumers worldwide are demanding products that are practical and convenient to use; effective, safe, and multi-functional;
ecological or green; and that help them save time (Dua et al. 2009; Mermet 2012).
Consumers value the subjective meanings of products they purchase and use, and they desire offerings that provide an ideal mix of utility, design, and need-satisfying properties (Leeflang et al. 1995; Parsons 2009).
Purpose Millennials, the cohort of young adult consumers born between 1982 and 2000, represent an appealing target for marketers. These consumers have come of age at a time during which the Internet has always existed, devices have always been portable, and technology is always evolving. More jaded by the narratives devised by advertisers, they rely on their everyday experience with products, or the advice and recommendations of other consumers, to determine the relevance and utility of the things they buy and use. However, apart from a focus on millennials’ desire to engage online with brands and the companies that produce them, little attention has been devoted to what such consumers want from products in terms of design elements. Such insight could prove invaluable for the strategic decision making of consumer goods firms in terms of brand differentiation and the need-satisfying properties of their offerings. The present exploratory investigation was intended to shed light on millennial consumers’ product and brand-related demands which, according to design experts, can be considered in terms of such dimensions as usability, utility, and desirability (Bloch 1995; Parsons 2009). Although it is difficult to consider these three design aspects separately, given how they are intricately entwined and operate together in terms of their impact on consumers, in a general sense usability pertains to the effectiveness and ease of use of a product, utility focuses on the usefulness or need for the product, and desirability reflects the emotional and aesthetic allure of a product (Bevan et al. 1991).
Methodology A total of 137 millennial students enrolled in Master’s programs at a French grande ecole anonymously completed a questionnaire distributed as an email attachment. The sample was comprised of participants representing 24 nationalities, including 74 Europeans (54.0%), 28 Far Easterners (20.4%), 18 North Americans (13.1%), 14 Near Easterners (10.2%), and 3 South Americans (2.2%), aged between 19 and 30 (with an average age of 23.2). Participants were asked to rate the importance of various product attributes or benefits in terms of the question, “When you search for or go shopping for various products or services, what is important to you and likely to influence your purchase decision?” Eleven product characteristics derived from the product innovation and design literature (e.g., Parsons 2009;
Trott 2008) were provided (e.g., efficacity, time-saving, multifunctionality, pleasure/comfort), along with a brief description of each. Ratings were obtained through the use of 11-point scales ranging from 0=not at all important to 10=extremely important. The product characteristics were randomly ordered across questionnaires so as to avoid response context effects.
Results Participant ratings for the 11 product characteristics are summarized in Table 1. The various product and service “demands” are arranged in the first column of values from highest to lowest average (mean) scores. Respondents also were asked to rank order the various product demands from the most important to the least important. These results are summarized in the remaining columns of the table. For example, for “efficacity (the product will fulfill the function for which it was created; it must work, and work well),” the average rating for the 137 respondents on the 11-point importance scale was 9.03 with a standard deviation of 1.19; 68 (49.6%) of the respondents ranked efficacity as the most important product attribute; 112 (81.8%) respondents ranked efficacity as either first, second, or third most important; and no one ranked efficacity as least important.
Table 1. Summary of Product Demand Ratings Rank Order Frequencies (%s) ___________________________________
Product Mean Most Top 3 Ranks Least Demands N Scores SD Important Combined Important _______________________________________________________________________
Three gender differences were apparent from the results, with male participants (N=36) rating “convenience” (t=2.13, df=135, p.05) and “time-saving/rapidity” (t=2.0, df=135, p.05) as significantly more important than their female counterparts (N=101); by contrast, female participants rated “healthy” (t=2.32, df=135, p.05) as significantly more important than did males. ANOVA comparisons of importance ratings for the 11 product demands revealed no significant differences across the five nationality categories (p.05).
To discern whether the evaluated product characteristics tapped underlying dimensions, an exploratory factor analysis was carried out. A Scree plot and preliminary principal components analysis (with promax rotation) for the 11 product demand variables provided results suggestive of two independent factors (KMO =.60; Barlett’s test of sphericity, χ2=238.00, df=55, p.00; smallest factor correlation=.23). Accordingly, a principal axis factoring extraction for two fixed factors was performed. The resulting rotated factor matrix revealed a two-factor structure with a separate set of variables highly loaded on each: (1) a Utility/Usability dimension comprised of five product demands (multifunctionality, time saving/rapidity, convenience, efficacity, portable/mobile) and (2) a Sustainability dimension comprised of three product demands (ecological/green, durable, ethical) (see Table 2).
Table 2. Rotated Factor Matrix Results for Two Underlying Product Dimensions Factors (Between Factor Correlations) Product Demand Variables Usability/Utility (.
88) Sustainability (.47) __________________________________________________________________
Discussion and Implications Because of their considerable earning potential in coming years, millennials comprise a market segment that is likely to significantly reshape the marketing landscape, yet a clear understanding of what this generation desires from products and brands has largely been lacking. Millennials have been characterized as narcissistic, indecisive, and lazy, interested in convenience and availability, style and design, with a predilection for products that are lightweight, portable, and easy to consume (e.g., Olson 2012; Searcey 2014). The findings of the present investigation in part, however, suggest that millennials are not very different from other consumer groups in terms of their putting the highest priority on product efficiency.
They demand products that are efficacious in fulfilling the functions for which they are created, are convenient to use, and are likely to last a long time.
Of increasing importance for millennial consumers is that the products they use offer certain sensory, physical, or psychological satisfactions or comforts when they are consumed (Holbrook 2001). This was especially evident in the present results, which revealed that although these young consumers placed the highest level of importance on product efficiency, in their view efficiency should not come at the expense of the more pleasureoriented aspects that can be derived from product usage, with this demand ranking second highest in importance among respondents. By contrast, the respondents generally gave little importance to the social and moral priorities related to sustainability, such as ethicality (in the sense of the product being associated with economic, political, or social virtues) and the ecological/green benefits associated with products. These latter results may be construed as being consistent with characterizations of millennials as persons having higher levels of narcissism compared with previous generations (Twenge et al. 2012) and conflict with common depictions of millennials as socially conscience and desirous of products that are good for the environment (e.g., Institute of Food Technologists 2014).
One apparent contribution of the present study in terms of product and brand design from the consumer perspective is the identification of a sustainability dimension, characterized by environmental, durability, and ethical elements. This finding is consistent with an increasing trend, consistent with socially responsible marketing, for firms to promote sustainable consumer behavior and the offer of suitable products that have economic, social, and environmental benefits (Sheth & Parvatiyar 1995). Product life cycles are now the focus of research oriented towards developing means for eliminating inefficiencies and avoiding harmful processes that pose dangers to the environment. In recent years, results are apparent in the development of products manufactured with lighter and energy-efficient substances and simpler, recyclable packaging designs that avoid the use of excessive protective materials (Burgh-Woodman & King 2013; de Kilbourne 2010). Despite the moral upside associated with these developments, the findings of the present study suggest that millennials are likely to be attracted by the utility/usability benefits that can be derived from products and brands, more so than corresponding environmental and ethical ones, suggesting that the former should be emphasized in marketing campaigns directed at the millennial target segment.
The present investigation’s findings regarding individual differences revealed that the millennial cohort is a relatively homogenous group when it comes to what millennial consumers demand from products. The only apparent differences were that males more heavily emphasized the convenience and time-savings benefits offered by products, whereas females gave greater relative importance to healthful aspects, consistent with previous research on consumer gender differences (e.g., Croson & Gneezy 2009). The lack of differences in product demands across a range of nationalities bodes well for firms interested in offering products that will appeal to global targets. This implication must be taken with caution, however, given the limitations apparent in the representativeness and size of the sample studied.