The 'Right' Consumers for Better Concepts: Identifying Consumers High in Emergent Nature to Develop New Product Concepts

Hoffman, Donna L; Kopalle, Praveen K; Novak, Thomas P
October 2010
Journal of Marketing Research (JMR);Oct2010, Vol. 47 Issue 5, p854
Academic Journal
While much research has emphasized improving current new product concept techniques, little work has focused on trait-based approaches that specify which consumers are the 'right' ones to use in the new product development process, particularly in the consumer goods industry. The authors propose that the right consumers to use possess what they call an 'emergent nature,' defined as the unique capability to imagine or envision how concepts might be developed so that they will be successful in the mainstream marketplace. The authors draw on research on personality theory and information-processing styles to support their conceptualization and develop and validate a highly reliable scale to measure emergent nature (Study 1). In subsequent multipart studies, they show in both group (Studies 2a-2c) and individual (Studies 3a and 3b) settings across two distinct product categories that consumers high in emergent nature are able to develop product concepts that mainstream consumers find significantly more appealing and useful than concepts developed by typical, lead user, or even innovative consumers.


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