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Product uniqueness as a driver of customer utility in mass customization

  • Nikolaus Franke

    ()

  • Martin Schreier

    ()

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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. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11002-007-9029-7
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Marketing Letters.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 93-107

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:19:y:2008:i:2:p:93-107
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100312

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    1. Simonson, Itamar & Nowlis, Stephen M., 2000. "The Role of Explanations and Need for Uniqueness in Consumer Decision Making: Unconventional Choices Based on Reasons," Research Papers 1610, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    2. Simonson, Itamar & Nowlis, Stephen M, 2000. " The Role of Explanations and Need for Uniqueness in Consumer Decision Making: Unconventional Choices Based on Reasons," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 49-68, June.
    3. McAlister, Leigh & Pessemier, Edgar, 1982. " Variety Seeking Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Review," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 311-22, December.
    4. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377937 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
    6. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
    7. Belk, Russell W & Wallendorf, Melanie & Sherry, John F, Jr, 1989. " The Sacred and the Profane in Consumer Behavior: Theodicy on the Odyssey," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-38, June.
    8. Noussair, Charles & Robin, Stephane & Ruffieux, Bernard, 2004. "Revealing consumers' willingness-to-pay: A comparison of the BDM mechanism and the Vickrey auction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 725-741, December.
    9. Von Hippel, Eric A. & Katz, Ralph, 2002. "Shifting Innovation to Users Via Toolkits," Working papers 4232-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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