Proceedings of Annual Tokyo Business Research Conference

Proceedings of Annual Tokyo Business Research Conference
9 - 10 November 2015, Shinjuku Washington Hotel, Tokyo, Japan, ISBN: 978-1-922069-88-7
Engaging Consumers with Smart Technology: The Fusion of Product
and Lifestyle Attributes
Hui Wen (Stephanie) Chuah1, Malliga Marimuthu2, T. Ramayah3 and Philipp A.
The advancement in technology and diffusion of smart devices have granted anytime-anywhere
accessibility to users. Over the years, the physical appearance of smart technology has advanced
from portable computing devices that can be handheld (such as smartphones and tablets) to
wearable (such as smartwatches and smartglasses) (Kim and Shin, 2015), and many new software
applications have been added to meet the customers’ sophisticated needs. The continued evolution
of smart technology has profoundly changed the ways in which people communicate with others,
search for information, plan their fun activities, and manage their daily life (Park et al., 2013). Since
the smart devices allow users to work, play, and stay informed anywhere and anytime, the devices
have become integral and habitual part of their modern life (Jung, 2014; Kim et al., 2015). Despite
being described as “an all-in-one lifestyle technology, a sort of electronic Swiss Army Knife” (Miller,
2012, p. 221), little is known about the role lifestyle plays in engaging smart technology users. Kim
et al. (2013) argue that continued engagement is post-adoptive lifestyle driven decision choices.
However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, extant research does not provide an integrative
framework that takes into account both lifestyle and product attributes.
We address this research gap by proposing a conceptual model that includes both product and
lifestyle as contributing to the understanding of smart technology user engagement. The conceptual
model is grounded based on prior research in technology acceptance research (Hsiao, 2013;
Morosan, 2014; Yang et al., 2016), lifestyle (Koshksaray et al., 2015; Lee et al., 2009) within the
scope of gratifications theory (Grellhesl and Punyanunt-Carter, 2012; Ku et al., 2013). In particular,
the proposed framework includes smart technology-specific product characteristics (e.g.,
quality/performance, design aesthetics, ease-of-use, comfort, features/functionality, customization,
and privacy/security) and lifestyle attributes (e.g., need orientation, hedonic orientation, social
orientation, fashion consciousness, and health/fitness consciousness). We argue that the relative
importance of these product attributes is dependent from a user’s lifestyle, and that a user’s lifestyle
also can directly influence the level of his/her technology engagement.
Our theoretical contribution is the integration of lifestyle and technology engagement research in a
comprehensive framework with a special emphasis on smart technology. Therefore, we provide an
additional understanding of smart technology from a ‘lifestyle’ standpoint. In doing so, this research
advances the knowledge on how the product and lifestyle attributes interplay to influence
consumers’ engagement with smart technology. Additionally, this research will offer smart device
manufacturers valuable insights about how to incorporate lifestyle attributes into their products and
marketing strategies development as to increase user engagement. This is an important
contribution, as lifestyle variables are commonly used to segment consumers.
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia,
University of Michigan-Dearborn, United States,
Address correspondence to Malliga Marimuthu, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, School of Management,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800,Malaysia, Ph: +604 6532332, Fax : +604 6577448, Email:;