When consumers become project backers: The psychological consequences of participation in crowdfunding

Rosalia Bitterl, Martin Schreier

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Crowdfunding involves financing new ventures by relying on a large number of individual project backers who typically receive the venture's new product as a reward for their financial support. In three experimental studies, it is revealed that crowdfunding participation increases the extent to which consumers can personally connect to and identify with the focal venture compared to customers who merely buy the product in a classic market exchange setting (the baseline in our analysis). This identification process, which is rooted in the insight that one's financial contribution is perceived to be more meaningful to the focal venture, is also shown to trigger behavioral effects on important outcome variables such as increased subsequent consumption of the venture's products and more positive word-of-mouth behavior. The studies thus validate the idea that crowdfunding may be an effective tool to build strong(er) relationships with the venture's initial customer base. Hence, crowdfunding might not only answer the question “Where could I get funding from?” but also another: “Where can I effectively connect with my future customers?” The findings further point to interesting consequences for participating consumers: because the venture is more strongly perceived as theirs, this means that also the associations linked to it may rub off more strongly on their sense of self compared to customers who merely buy the same venture's product in a classic market exchange setting. Crowdfunding participation may thus more strongly effect a qualitative change in the consumer's self-concept.
Seiten (von - bis)673 - 685
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2018

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