App Innovation Strategies and Innovation Performance: A Perspective of Developer Brand Equity

Project: Research

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The information and communication technology (ICT) ecosystems have shifted toward mobile applications, given the advancements in digital technologies and the wide adoption of mobile devices in recent years. However, app markets are hypercompetitive and often dominated by a few leading apps only. App developers are compelled to add new features or launch new apps frequently. As a result, aninnovation diffusion paradoxhas emerged in this digital innovation ecosystem. That is, the fast introduction of innovations may impede the diffusion of apps.This project explores the app innovation strategies that developers apply to deal with the innovation diffusion paradox and boost their innovation performance. Apps are distinct from traditional physical products. Developers may continuously add new features through upgrades. Alternatively, they can launch new apps in a different or the same app category. Choosing the right app innovation strategy is a pressing issue that app developers are facing.This project draws upon the theory of brand equity to investigate the role of customer-based brand equity for the effects of developers’ app innovation strategies on their innovation performance. Brand equity can “impress” potential customers and make a product stand out in a crowded market. However, few studies have investigated app diffusions and the effects of app innovation strategies from the perspective of app developers. We intend to reveal the extent to which the effects of app innovation strategies on innovation performance are realized by enhancing the brand equity of app developers.The project plans to apply a multi-method, multi-level design. We will collect archival data at the developer level for developers’ app innovation strategies and innovation performance. Data for developers’ brand equity will be collected through a survey at the user level. This design will provide empirical evidence for the theoretical perspective of brand equity applied in the project.This project will be among the early research endeavors to tackle the app diffusion paradox from the app developer’s perspective. It will contribute to the literature on the diffusion of digital products in the emerging digital ecosystems. It will also contribute to the brand equity literature by extending the theory to a hypercompetitive market and examining its role for innovation performance. This project will inform practitioners about choosing appropriate app innovation strategies and building brand equity to enhance their innovation performance.


Project number9043227
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/2131/05/22