Creative consumer

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A creative consumer is defined as any “individual or group who adapt, modify, or transform a proprietary offering”[1] in a business journal article by Berthon, et al. While traditional consumers simply use and consume products and services, creative consumers not only use and consume them, but also change them in some way.

Examples include:

In 2005, The Economist published an article about the future of innovation, ‘The rise of the creative consumer’.[2] This article explained that some companies rely on identifying and leveraging the innovation potential of creative consumers. However, many companies may feel threatened or upset by the actions of creative consumers. Hotz, Avila and Hill all received negative, and in some cases threatening, reactions from the companies whose products and services they had repurposed.

Berthon, et al., proposed that companies can take four general stances on creative consumers.[1] These stances are determined by whether the company's actions toward these creative consumers are active or passive and whether the company's attitude towards creative consumers is either positive or negative.

The four stances are:

  • Resist stance (active/negative): restrain consumer creativity
  • Discourage stance (passive/negative): tolerate or ignore consumer creativity
  • Encourage stance (passive/positive): don't actively facilitate consumer creativity
  • Enable stance (active/positive): actively facilitate consumer creativity

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Berthon, Pierre R.; Pitt, Leyland F.; McCarthy, Ian; Kates, Steven M. (1 January 2007). "When customers get clever: Managerial approaches to dealing with creative consumers". Business Horizons. 50 (1): 39–47. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2006.05.005.
  2. ^ "The rise of the creative consumer". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 25 April 2016.