Customer involvement in the creation of a value proposition for a start-up
Sammanfattning: Background The single most important thing for a start-up is to define how they will satisfy their customers’ needs, as it is the key to survival. This can be done by creating a value proposition that presents the benefits of the product and/or service being sold. Customer involvement have been proven to contribute to both higher customer satisfaction and productivity. It can also make value propositions more accurate and make a start-up gain new customers. A successful value proposition often leads to a higher perceived value for customers, making them willing to pay a higher price. Despite the benefits, start-ups rarely involve their customers in the creation of value propositions, and there is little research on how this affects the value propositions. Therefore, these research questions were formulated: Research questions RQ1: How does customer involvement influence customer value propositions? RQ2: How can customer involvement be facilitated for start-ups in the creation of value propositions? Method The study consisted of a literature review and a case study. In the literature review, success factors were investigated for value propositions and customer involvement along with answers to how customer involvement could be facilitated for start-ups. The case study was performed at a start-up company in the EdTech sector where a value proposition created solely by the case company (without customer involvement) was compared to a new value proposition with customer involvement, created in this study. Both were placed in the framework of the value proposition canvas. The value proposition with customer involvement was based on ten interviews with both customers and potential customers in the customer segment. Findings The findings show that the value proposition with customer involvement was broader, more extensive and included more important customer needs. There is also a low risk of missing latent needs. To facilitate customer involvement for start-ups, the findings suggest that the customer involvement must cost little time and money. Social media can be used as a platform for gaining generic information about customers while a few deep relationships with customers can generate deeper understandings about customer needs. Findings also suggest that a third party can generate objective information about key customers with low time and money costs.
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