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EMAC 2023 Annual

Variation makes the difference: Investigating the effectiveness of different customer types for co-creation in new product development

Published: May 24, 2023


Slawka Jordanow, Saarland University; Sven Heidenreich, Saarland University


According to past literature customer co-creation generally seems to be a promising method for the development of successful new products. Yet, recent research suggests that the effectiveness of this method especially depends on the type of integrated consumer. In this context, previous studies focused predominantly on lead users and emergent nature consumers for co-creation in new product development (NPD). While these two consumer types are characterized by innovativeness and creativity, current research shows that most consumers in the marketplace are neither innovative nor creative, but rather averse to change. Within in this respect, recent research has proposed to consider passive resistors - consumers who are very sensitive to change and discontinuity - for co-creation as they may act as an “early warning system” when products have the potential to be too disruptive. Surprisingly, empirical evidence on the effectiveness of these consumer types for co-creation is still missing. In order to close this research gap, we conducted a series of experiments to investigate which consumer type or potential combination is most effective for co-creation in NPD.