The extant literature analysing the impact of value co-creation on consumers' need for differentiated products is sparse, so the present study examines the role of consumers' need for differentiation in relating value co-creation with consumers' word-of-mouth to foster competitive advantage. Specifically, we investigate the effects of innovation differentiation and market differentiation on micro businesses' abilities to co-create value and generate positive word-of-mouth, which ultimately helps them sustain their revenues. We collect data from a sample of 196 female consumers who participated in the co-creation process used in the micro businesses to design trendy apparel. We use structural equation modelling to test the hypotheses. Having a strong desire for differentiation in their dresses, these consumers invest their resources and capabilities in designing their own apparel. The results show that value co-creation not only leads to consumers’ need for differentiated products (enabling the differentiation strategy), but also results in negative word-of-mouth. More particularly, value co-creation leads to differentiated offerings but consumers desirous of possessing unique products do not spread positive words about the professional designer. As a result, sustaining economic development in emerging economies dominated by micro and small businesses is still a big challenge.
- Consumers' need for differentiation
- Micro businesses
- Value co-creation
ASJC Scopus subject areas