Product Meaning and Consumer Creativity

Product meanings are negotiated by a variety of social actors in a particular historical context. In this study we use a series of long interviews to explore product meanings actively created by consumers. We find that consumers create meaning through irony, through use innovation, and by adopting abandoned products. Consumers are motivated to create meaning because consumer-created meanings provide flexibility in constructing an identity, economic rewards, and intrinsic enjoyment. Leveraging creativity enables consumers to develop a space free from commoditized identities bartered in the marketplace.


Kelly Herd, Ethan Pew, and Caleb Warren (2009) ,"Product Meaning and Consumer Creativity", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 875-876.


Kelly Herd, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Ethan Pew, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Caleb Warren, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Pro-Environmental Waste Receptacle Labeling Can Increase Recycling Contamination

Jesse R. Catlin, California State University, Sacramento
Yitong Wang, University of Technology Sydney
Rommel J. Manuel, California State University, Sacramento

Read More


“Slim-As-Luxury” Effect: Product Shape as Input to Luxury Perceptions

Ji Jill Xiong, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Yu Ding, Columbia University, USA
Gita Venkataramani Johar, Columbia University, USA

Read More


H4. Anthropomorphism Moderates the Effect of Ownership on Self Perceptions

Qiang Zhou, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Dengfeng Yan, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.