The wisdom of consumer crowds: Collective innovation in the age of networked marketing

Robert V. Kozinets, Andrea Hemetsberger, H. Jensen Schau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

379 Scopus citations


Past theories of consumer innovation and creativity were devised before the emergence of the profound collaborative possibilities of technology. With the diffusion of networking technologies, collective consumer innovation is taking on new forms that are transforming the nature of consumption and work and, with it, society and marketing. We theorize, examine, dimensionalize, and organize these forms and processes of online collective consumer innovation. Extending past theories of informationalism, we follow this macro-social paradigm shift into grassroots regions that have irrevocable impacts on business and society. Business and society need categories and procedures to guide their interactions with this powerful and growing phenomenon. We classify and describe four types of online creative consumer communities-Crowds, Hives, Mobs, and Swarms. Collective innovation is produced both as an aggregated byproduct of everyday information consumption and as a result of the efforts of talented and motivated groups of innovative e-tribes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-354
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Consumer co-creation
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Online community
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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