The Voice of the Consumer Speaks Forcefully in Brand Identity: User-Generated Content ForcesSmart Marketers to Listen

George Christodoulides

Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham

Colin Jevons

Department of Marketing, Monash University

Insights from

Pete Blackshaw

Chief Marketing Officer, NM Incite


What Is UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) is a new term—so new that, in early 2011, the Oxford English Dictionary, which derives its definitions from public usage, had not yet published a definition. It is an area of consumer engagement wherein academia has led public practice. According to one theory, UGC is defined as consumers creating content that:

  • is made available through publicly accessible transmission media such as the Internet;
  • reflects some degree of creative effort; and
  • is created for free outside professional routines and practices (Christodoulides, Jevons, and Bonhomme, 2011).