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Innovation By DemandAn Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Demand and its Role in Innovation$
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Andrew McMeekin, Mark Tomlinson, Ken Green, and Vivien Walsh

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780719062674

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719062674.001.0001

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Information and communication technologies and the role of consumers in innovation

Information and communication technologies and the role of consumers in innovation

(p.151) 10 Information and communication technologies and the role of consumers in innovation
Innovation By Demand

Leslie Haddon

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses the involvement of consumers in innovation. It presents two case studies which detail a number of interesting issues regarding ways that consumers become involved in new product development or longer-term research and development in the information and communication technology sector. In some cases, consumers have been actively involved during new product development. Much more common was later involvement, in the form of product testing and evaluation of interfaces. In other cases, consumers are ‘represented’ through perceptions of consumer behaviour built up by designers and product managers. Given that many product ideas stem from awareness of technological possibilities, consumer feedback is more often in the form of reaction to product proposals rather than generating them. Even in more incremental new product development projects, the information that is collected about consumers can become marginalised relative to other considerations. This chapter concludes that there is evidence of firms attempting to learn about consumers as input to their innovation processes, but that such efforts have so far been rather underdeveloped.

Keywords:   consumers, innovation, new product development, research and development, information and communication technology, product testing, consumer behaviour, consumer feedback

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