Product uniqueness as a driver of customer utility in mass customization

Franke, Nikolaus and Schreier, Martin (2008) Product uniqueness as a driver of customer utility in mass customization. Marketing Letters, 19 (2). pp. 93-107. ISSN 0923-0645

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Mass customization (MC) constitutes a promising strategy for companies which aim to provide products which are better adapted to individual customers' aesthetic and functional preferences. Drawing on commodity theory, we argue that the perceived uniqueness of a self-designed product is a second driver of utility in MC. We find that in addition to the significant effect of aesthetic and functional fit, the perceived uniqueness of a self-designed product (1) contributes independently to the utility a customer experiences, and (2) that this effect is moderated by the consumer's need for uniqueness. In product categories which can serve this counterconformity motive for consumers, this suggests that MC toolkits should be constructed with the objective of facilitating the creation of unique products as well as providing affirmative feedback that this uniqueness has been achieved. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Both authors contributed equally. We are indebted to our E&I Research students and Astrid Mair am Tinkhof for their support in collecting data and for their fruitful insights throughout the project. We would also like to thank Alois Geyer, Eric von Hippel, and Pam Morrison for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. We are also grateful to co-editor Joe Urbany as well as the anonymous reviewers for their significant insights and suggestions for improvement. The project was generously funded by the Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds ( Published with Springer Open Choice option.
Keywords: mass customization / self-design / co-creation / uniqueness / willingness to pay
Divisions: Departments > Strategy and Innovation > Entrepreneurship und Innovation > Franke
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: Elena Simukovic
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2015 13:27
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 15:47
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