Choice Consequences of Consumer Creativity: Implications for Firm Marketing and Consumer Welfare

Project: Research

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Consumer creativity literature generally focuses on the antecedents to creativity, i.e., which factors or boundary conditions can bolster or hinder creativity in usage of products such as DIY furniture from IKEA. With the growing prevalence of online marketing promotions with a creativity theme --e.g., Zesprit China encouraged consumers to design virtual greeting cards with nature themed graphical elements; firms’ interests are gradually shifting away from the final creative products (e.g, Zesprit greeting card) to the effects of these creative activities on consumers’ cognitions, emotions, and behaviors, i.e., consequences of consumer creativity. Furthermore, although prior research explores creativity implications for firms in terms of branding impact; little work has discussed its implications for consumer choice.A comprehensive understanding of the broad range of consequences of consumer creativity, especially in terms consumer choices, is important for two reasons. First of all, firms may leverage this knowledge to facilitate the sales of novel offerings to consumers. Second, by delving deeper into the cognitive and emotional aspect of consumer creative responses, it is possible to gauge the welfare impact of consumer creativity on their choices, e.g., whether creativity can help curtail dysfunctional consumer behaviors such as overeating, shopaholics, or gambling addiction.By examining the choice consequences of consumer creativity, the proposed study enriches extant literature on consumer creativity. In particular, from a firm’s perspective, we investigate how creativity influences consumers’ openness towards unfamiliar offerings (e.g, dining at a prison-style setting restaurant) and acceptance of novel brand extensions (e.g., Dell Fruit Juice). From consumers’ perspective, we explore how creativity affects mindset concreteness, and subsequently influences consumers’ reinforcement intentions in making sequential choices, e.g., eating healthy in both the main course and dessert of a meal; or resisting tempting yet “bad” choices with self-control resources.We will conduct a series of lab and field experiments to test our predictions. Study 1 is designed to show that creative consumers are more likely to embrace novel products/experience. Study 2 examines whether creativity enhances consumers’ acceptance of novel brand extensions. Study 3 explores how creativity can help reinforce consumers’ intentions to “stay on target” in sequential choices, when the first choice is beneficial. Study 4 investigates how creativity can generate positive affect, which helps replenish consumers’ self-control resources; leading to the reduction of dysfunctional consumer behaviors such as overeating. Together, these studies can offer rich managerial and consumer welfare implications.


Project number9041815
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/09/1225/02/16