Purpose This study explores the potential for personal transformation resulting from reflective learning that occurs during the extended consumption of life experiences. Extended consumption refers to activities that consist in re-experiencing a life experience, for instance sharing stories/photographs or blogging. Methodology Using a directed qualitative content analysis, Hubbs and Brand's (2010) framework is applied to analyze the content of 19 travel blogs and develop an understanding of different forms of consumer learning occurring during the extended consumption experience. Findings The analysis of the travel blogs provides evidence of three forms of reflective leaning during extended consumption: emotional, critical and personal reflection learning. Although a high proportion of the blog narratives do not go beyond surface learning, most bloggers use a combination of the three forms of reflective learning, signifying different levels of reflection. Experiences that produce emotions of high valence and situations that point to differences between the bloggers' home culture and the destinations' characteristics appear to trigger reflective learning, in some instances providing evidence of personal transformation. Originality/value This research contributes to the experiential consumption literature, providing evidence of consumers' development and transformation during extended consumption, and showing how even negative experiences lead to self-learning.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
- Consumer learning
- Experiential purchases
- Life experiences
- Extended consumption experience
- Reflective learning