A longtime observer of the ways in which technology shapes us, Pierre Berthon has lately turned his attention to a related phenomenon: the ways in which we shape technology. In particular, Professor Berthon is focusing on the emergence of the "creative consumer" –– individuals who adapt and transform technology, and by extension consumer products, in ways that challenge corporate brand ownership. Fueled by the Internet, clever consumers are producing their own ads for national brands, creating unauthorized brand websites and experimenting with products in unorthodox ways. The explosive Mentos/Diet Coke videos on YouTube are one example. In the edited interview below, Professor Berthon talks about the rise of the creative consumer and the loss of corporate control over brands in the marketplace.
Professor Pierre R. Berthon is the Clifford F. Youse Chair of Marketing at Bentley University. Professor Berthon's teaching, research and consulting work focus on e-commerce, marketing and management decision-making. His most recent paper discusses managerial approaches to dealing with "creative consumers" and the challenges they pose to a company's carefully crafted brand image.