Assessing co-creation based competitive advantage through consumers’ need for differentiation

Gurjeet Kaur Sahi, Rita Devi, Mahesh C. Gupta, T. C.E. Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102911
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Consumers' need for differentiation
  • Micro businesses
  • Value co-creation
  • Word-of-mouth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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