Consumer power: Evolution in the digital age
Labrecque L.I., vor dem Esche J., Mathwick C., Novak T.P., Hofacker C.F.
The predictions of growing consumer power in the digital age that predated the turn of the century were fueled by the rise of the Internet, then reignited by social media. This article explores the intersection of consumer behavior and digital media by clearly defining consumer power and empowerment in Internet and social media contexts and by presenting a theoretical framework of four distinct consumer power sources: demand-, information-, network-, and crowd-based power. Furthermore, we highlight technology's evolutionary role in the development of these power sources and discuss the nature of shifts in power from marketers to consumers in terms of each source. The framework organizes prior marketing literature on Internet-enabled consumer empowerment and highlights gaps in current research. Specific research questions are elaborated for each source of power outlining the agenda for future research areas. © 2013.
Consumer empowerment; Internet; Online consumer behavior; Power; Social media; Social networks; Virtual communities