Customer inspiration: Conceptualization, scale development, and validation

Tim Bottger, Thomas Rudolph, Heiner Evanschitzky, Thilo Pfrang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introducing customers to new ideas lies at the heart of marketing, yet surprisingly little is known about customers' state of inspiration within this domain. This article reviews prior conceptualizations of general inspiration in psychology and introduces the concept of customer inspiration as a customer's temporary motivational state that facilitates the transition from the reception of a marketing-induced idea to the intrinsic pursuit of a consumption-related goal. The authors develop and validate a two-state, ten-item customer inspiration scale that consists of inspired-by and inspired to states. The scale development process begins with item generation, followed by five studies: (1) scale purification and initial validation, (2) exploration of the nomo logical network, (3) tests for the experimental and predictive validity, (4) replication within a field experiment, and (5) assessments of generalizability and boundary conditions. Empirical results reveal sound psychometric properties of the scale, demonstrate its unique position in relation to established marketing constructs, and support experimental and predictive validity. Applying the scale in marketing practice offers a new way for firms to increase demand, motivate customers' exploration behavior, and build customer loyalty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-131
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017, American Marketing Association.


  • Inspiration
  • Loyalty
  • Marketing of ideas
  • Scale development
  • Shopping behavior


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