Exploring Online Consumer Curation as User-Generated Content: A Framework and Agenda for Future Research, with Implications for Brand Management

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© 2019, Jessica Babin and John Hulland. Purpose: Some consumers are engaged in online curation, a type of user-generated content, in ways that can be impactful for brands. An example of online curation includes organizing themed collections of product images on Pinterest. The purpose of this paper is to present a framework of online consumer curation, introducing this topic to the marketing literature. Design/methodology/approach: Through the analysis of the business and academic literature, as well as a careful study of many examples of online consumer curation, the authors present a framework for understanding online consumer curation. Findings: The actions taken by online consumer curators are similar to those of museum or art gallery curators: acquiring, selecting, organizing and displaying content for an audience. The motivations for consumers to engage in online curation include building/displaying their identities and making social connections with their online audience. One outcome possible for the audience that views the curation is gaining access to carefully selected and recommended content. Research limitations/implications: As online consumer curation is a new area of research, the authors suggest several marketing- and brand-relevant propositions that can be addressed in future research. Practical implications: As consumers are frequently using product images and brand symbols in their online curation, it is important for marketing academics and practitioners to understand their actions. Originality/value: The aim of the paper is to present a thorough introduction to the idea of online consumer curation by outlining relevant examples, providing a framework for understanding this activity and its implications for brand management, and listing ideas for future research.