It’S Not What You Know, It’S Who You Know: Acquiring Consumer Capital Through Consumer Research

This case study of a major automotive manufacturer examines the identification and representation of the consumer in the course of product development. I find that because understanding the consumer and his or her desires is held as a prerequisite for exemplary product development, definition of the consumer becomes an internally codified asset I term “consumer capital.” The study enriches extant discourses on how consumers are interpreted, foregrounding the polyvocal, polysemic dynamism of the interpretive act and challenges rhetoric on consumer insight which assumes that organizational actors realize value in constructing a shared and uncontested interpretation of their consumers.


Sarah JS Wilner (2011) ,"It’S Not What You Know, It’S Who You Know: Acquiring Consumer Capital Through Consumer Research", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 71-72.


Sarah JS Wilner, York University, Canada


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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