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The nature of customer involvement in new-product development has generated considerable work in marketing. Traditional marketing management approaches consider the customer to be passive, with given needs that must be analysed in order to conceive an offering. This concept is still very much alive in the NPD literature and stage-gate model, but has been the subject of criticism for the last 30 years or so. For researchers in industrial marketing, however, the customer is active in the transaction. Von Hippel (1986) considers the customer the starting point of innovation emergence and a decisive actor in determining the direction of the innovation's development, and Fichman and Kemerer (1997) recommend active user involvement in concept-generation phases prior to development.
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