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When perceived ability to influence plays a role: brand co-creation in Web 2.0

Eric Kennedy (Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)
Francisco Guzmán (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 17 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of Millennials’ perceived ability to influence a brand and how this perception about the brand impacts the consumers’ desire to engage in co-creation. Additionally, the paper examines the effects of perceived influence on attitude toward the ad and purchase intention.


Two studies were developed. In the first study, Millennial consumers identify technology brands they feel they are able to influence and not able to influence. Using the results from Study 1, Study 2, a 2 × 2 between subjects factorial design, is used to test the impact that perceived brand influence has on co-creation, attitude toward the ad and purchase intention.


The results of this paper offer new insight into consumer co-creation. Instead of co-creation being a constant that a brand can rely on, managers must now consider the attributions that consumers have about the brand. If a brand is perceived as being unable to be influenced, then not only will consumers not engage in co-creation but attitude toward that ad and purchase intention will also decrease.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses exclusively on Millennial consumers. While this segment of the population is large and important, validating the results with a national generalizable sample could shed additional insight into the power of the ability to influence on co-creation. The survey was created to mimic an online social media platform that a consumer interacts with on a regular basis. To further verify the test results, additional platforms for co-creation, including company websites and retail settings, could be tested.

Practical implications

If a brand wishes to engage Millennial consumers with active co-creation, then the perception of the brand is important for success. Brand managers must create a perception of the brand that is open to engagement with consumers – which allows for consumers to give input and help to shape the brand. Consumers should become comfortable with the idea of the brand asking for, accepting and implementing feedback from customers.


This paper is the first of its kind to combine attribution theory, theory of reasoned action and co-creation to measure the perceptions that consumers have about a brand. The results of this paper provide valuable insight to the limits and conditions in which co-creation will occur.



Kennedy, E. and Guzmán, F. (2017), "When perceived ability to influence plays a role: brand co-creation in Web 2.0", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 342-350.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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