Is co-creation really a booster for brand equity? The role of co-creation in observer-based brand equity (OBBE)

Samuel Kristal, Carsten Baumgarth, Carolin Behnke, Jörg Henseler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to analyse the general effect of co-created products on the brand equity of observers (OBBE). The influence of different implementations of the co-creation approach on the OBBE is tested. It is also discussed whether co-creation can be a strategic method for companies to positively affect the OBBE in the mass market. Design/methodology/approach: A between-subject experiment with a 2 (intensity of integration: democratically voted vs commonly created) × 2 (expert knowledge: no expert knowledge vs expert knowledge) design plus one control group (zero co-creation) is conducted for two brands to test the postulated hypotheses. Findings: Co-creation can have a weak positive effect on the OBBE. Integration intensity and expertise of integrated consumer also affect the OBBE only marginally. Research limitations/implications: Further research might investigate whether the initial brand equity has a moderating effect. Also brand image and underlying product category could influence the relation between co-creation and the OBBE and would be valuable for future studies. Practical implications: Brand managers should aim to convert observers into participants, instead of setting the focus on the presentation of the user-designed product to the mass market. Originality/value: This study is one of the few analyzing the effects of co-creation on observers in terms of brand equity. In addition to existing research, the concept of expertise in combination with co-creation and its influence on the OBBE is explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Product and Brand Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Co-creation
  • Expertise
  • Intensity of integration
  • Non-integrated consumers
  • Observer-based brand equity


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