Online Communities In Mature Markets: Why Join, Why Innovate, Why Share?
Online communities (OCs), especially those related to particular products or brands, have become a potent means of identifying user needs and solution ideas, thereby supporting companies to innovate. Despite their growing relevance, user innovation activities within consumer OCs still are underexplored. Members' motivations to innovate and contribute to OCs, in particular, belong to a young line of research requiring further investigation. This study contributes to this line of research by providing an in-depth netnographic analysis of innovative, privately operated OCs dedicated to tangible consumer products. Most fundamentally, we differentiate: (1) motives to join OCs, (2) motives to innovate, and (3) motives to publish innovations in OCs. It is the first study that categorizes the motives of innovative OC members depending on membership lifecycle and situational factors. Our results support companies in understanding members' motives in privately operated OCs relating to the company's brand or products. Thus, it provides a foundation for the development of specific incentives and tools that stimulate user activity.
Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
Issue (Month): 04 ()
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