The Creative Consumer – Myth or Reality?

Dr Julia Wolny
London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

INTRODUCTION

The times of consumers buying pre-produced products and services are on the wane. We are facing a reality where consumers can affect our well-laid marketing plans and product development policies. For the moment the process of involving consumers in co-creation is still time-consuming and cumbersome, meaning that mainly enthusiasts and people with unusual needs are utilising it. Yet it has already changed the predominant Internet-based business models.
Individualising the consumer experience (initially called mass customisation) is a concept that has been in existence for over 10 years, yet has accelerated only in the last 5, along with the Internet infrastructure development. But, apart from the previously mentioned enthusiasts, are most consumers rendered passive by the entrenched reactivity of the previous decades?
Fashion industry, with its emphasis on individual identity is leading the way in making consumers part of the creative process. These applications often surpass a surface marketing activity and affect whole organisations. A demonstration of fashion co-creation initiatives will address their potential for insight and challenges to traditional business models.

The Creative Consumer – Myth or Reality?