Encouraging product reuse and upcycling via creativity priming, imagination and inspiration

Liudmila Tarabashkina, Alua Devine, Pascale G. Quester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Consumers seldom consider end-use consumption (reuse or upcycling) when products reach the end of their lifecycle. This study shows that end-use consumption can be encouraged if individuals are primed to think creatively, engage in end-use ideation (imagine end-use) and become inspired by more original ideas. Design/methodology/approach Three studies were carried out. Study 1 tested if creativity priming resulted in more effective end-use ideation (greater number of ideas and more original ideas) compared to environmental appeals and no intervention. Study 2 tested the effectiveness of creativity priming in a longitudinal setting. Study 3 demonstrated how creativity priming and end-use ideation could be practically executed using product packaging. Findings Creativity priming represents an effective intervention to stimulate end-use consumption with particularly positive results amongst less creative consumers. However, it was not the number of generated ideas, but their originality during end-use ideation that triggered inspiration. Research limitations/implications This study demonstrates which interventions are more effective in changing consumer behaviour in favour of more sustainable practices. Practical implications Increasing environmental degradation requires consumers to change their behaviour by re-consuming products. This study shows that consumers can adopt end-use if they are primed to think creatively, imagine end-use consumption and generate more original ideas. Originality/value Creative thinking has been leveraged at product development stages, but not at the end of products' lifecycle. This study integrated creativity priming, consumer imagination and inspiration theories to explain the underlying mechanism behind end-use consumption to scale up its adoption by consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1956-1984
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number7
Early online date16 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2022


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