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In a study involving a sample of 410 consumers nationwide, those who searched for new uses for old products tended to be educated, health–conscious, convenience–oriented, and not budget–constrained. These resourceful consumers frequently focus on a product' summary benefits in place of the traditional situation in which they are used and are driven by the desire for convenience. This motivation is very different from that which impelled consumers about 75 years ago. Rather, this older generation of consumers focused on alternative uses for products primarily in order to save money.
Resourceful consumers in this study derived new uses for old products often because they needed a certain product that was not readily available to them. In addition, labels often played a notable role in proposing alternative uses.
Wansink, Brian (2003). How Resourceful Consumers Identify New Uses for Old Products. Journal of Family and Consumer Science, 95(4), 109–113.