Once Upon a Consumer
: Co-creating Personalised and Unique Retail Experience through Life Story Swapping

  • Lin Su

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Consumers are identity seekers and makers, and also they are storytellers and help seekers. This research develops a consumer-centric perspective to investigate the vocal performance aspect of the consumers’ retail experiences, by focusing on how customers narrate and exchange their life stories with sales people to co-create personalised and unique shopping experiences in retail stores. In-depth interviews and observations were conducted in order to: first, explore in detail consumers’ rich stock of sociocultural operant resources that are deployed and collaborated. Second, produce a specific process map on how resources are integrated through the consumer-to-sales person interaction. Third, discover various outcomes that are developed through the story swapping perspective of human interaction. The findings suggest that: first, the utilisation of life story swapping aspect of vocal performance provides a platform for the consumers to deploy personal resources that are enriched with everyday life and practices. Second, role playing and switching can facilitate the value-in-use process, and thus to convert the consumers’ life experiences into meanings, identity, and solutions. Finally, the story swapping associated outcomes provide a consumer-centric point of view in looking into the customer’s side of benefits gaining as well as the retailer’s side of relationship building and maintaining.An important contribution of this research is the notion that it extends the Service-Dominant Logic perspective to develop a better understanding of the relationship between the consumer’s stock of sociocultural operant resources and the co-creation of experience in the retail environment. In particular, it explores and examines the roles of the consumer-to-sales person interaction in facilitating the value-in-use process.
Date of Award1 Jun 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMichael Beverland (Supervisor)

Cite this