Owning Wikipedia

December 13, 2010

Anyone who has recently visited Wikipedia will have noticed a new addition to the site.  In order to raise funds, the founder, Jimmy Wales is appealing to those who use the online encyclopedia to finance it through donations. A blog post I recently came across outlines a possible explanation for this. Wikipedia is unique, as anyone who uses the site has the opportunity not only to read information, but also to upload and edit content. In other words, consumers are owners. Because of this, people shouldn’t mind funding the site. They are, after all, those responsible for its upkeep.

                This reminds me of the concept known as the ‘IKEA effect’. This is the idea that if someone has contributed to the production of a something they have purchased, they will place greater value on that product. Once someone has spent a few hours assembling furniture for example, they will view their bed/wardrobe, etc. as that bit more special than one which has been put together for them.

                What this means to me is that the more engaged someone is with a product, the more they will identify with and care about it. This is nothing new, but it is something worth thinking about. There is huge excitement around social media as a way to get people involved with a brand. Sponsorship continues to be an important way of making an emotional connection with a target audience, whether it’s through music, sport or a more niche event. Although brand loyalty continues to be a major objective for many businesses, both small and large, companies should consider setting their goals higher. Brand ownership means consumers are not only loyal users, but also a part of the brand itself.



One Response to “Owning Wikipedia”

  1. […] have previously seen, in a previous post discussing the Ikea Effect , how people appreciate something more when they’ve been involved in its production. This could be […]

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