Consumption-Driven Market Emergence
New market development is well theorized from a firm-centered perspective, but research has paid scant attention to the emergence of markets from consumption activity. The exceptions conceptualize market emergence as a product of consumer struggle against prevailing market logics. This study develops a model of consumption-driven market emergence in harmony with existing market offerings. Using ethnographic methods and actor-network theory the authors chronicle the emergence of a new market within the motorcycle industry that develops with neither active participation nor interference from mainstream industry players. Findings reveal a process of multiple translations wherein consumers mobilize human and nonhuman actors to co-constitute products, practices, and infrastructures. These drive the growth of interlinked communities of practice, which ultimately are translated into a fully functioning market. The study highlights the roles of distributed innovation and diffusion, embedded entrepreneurship, and market catalysts in processes of market change and development.
Diane Martin’s academic research employs ethnographic methods in examining relationships between consumers, communities and culture. Her previous work as a small-business owner has prompted her to study entrepreneurship and market creation. Most recently, Diane’s lifelong passion for the natural environment and the Earth’s wild places has led her to reexamine marketing in the context of the urgent need for sustainable practices in both business and consumer behavior. In her recent textbook, Sustainable Marketing, Diane brings her keen sense for the power of marketing to the problem of how to remain competitive while restoring the Earth’s natural capital and creating greater wellbeing for a global population. She is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Her scholarship is published in numerous journals in marketing and communication, including Consumption, Markets and Culture, the Journal of Business Ethics, and the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Journal of Consumer Research.