Domain-specific innovativeness and social media: Predicting new product purchase

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Abstract: Identifying innovative consumers, or early adopters, in various industries is hard for companies, though very important and useful when launching new products. If correctly identified, innovative consumers could be included into new product development by companies in co-creation, setting adequate market-ing and target actions and saving money by avoiding new product failures. Social media is nowadays a tool for users to search information and get input about trends and prod-ucts. Social media content can influence product awareness, attention and trial among its users. This thesis examines how to predict innovative usage among consumers within specific domains (in-dustries), proceeding from and thereafter combining Goldsmith and Hofacker's domain-specific (DSI) scale and Jenkins-Guarnieri's social media integration usage (SMUI) scale. The examined domain for this thesis is the prepared food industry in Sweden. A survey was distributed and answered by 1008 people from a representative sample. The results show a positive correlation between SMUI with both DSI and new product purchase, and that the combined tool developed in this thesis improves the predictive validity towards new product purchase in the domain, compared to using the DSI scale from r=0.426 to r=0.584 (P=0.000). Thus, this thesis supports the combined scale for identifying innovative users, which could be of importance for both business and academy. However, further research validating the scale for other domains and markets as well as adjustments of the scale might be needed before the combined scale can be fully trusted.

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