Browsing by Subject "customer value"

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  • Vuorio, Emma (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    This study aims to find out if differentiation of the features of the 4P of the product milk can create value to customers in a particular customer segment. Creating value is in the core in every company´s actions. Customers buy products and services that create value to them and are willing to pay from the value they get. The more the product creates value, the more the customers are willing to pay. This study focused on the customer segment of young women with academic background who live in the capital region. Milk is a bulk product consumed widely in Finland. The product also has significant role in the nutritional history of the country and has a big role in Finnish nutritional recommendations. However the consumption of milk has decreased over the years. The theoretical background of this study is based on the following theories: marketing strategy and the 4P, customer value and differentiation. These theories formed the theoretical framework which gave the focus to the empirical experiment. The approach of the study was qualitative because qualitative research aims to understand the phenomenon it studies and the approach is more suitable for analysing verbal data. Qualitative research wants to get a deeper understanding and it gives room for individual´s thoughts and experience. The study was executed and a group interview using theme interview methods. For the study chosen features of the 4P of the product milk were differentiated and group interview focused on them. The differentiated features were the following. For product organic milk and milk with added protein, for price milk with a lower price, for place online shopping and for promotion advertising milk on social media. The findings of this study were that in some cases differentiation of the features if the 4P of the product milk can create value for customers but in most cases it does not. The focus group felt that the most valuable differentiated feature of the 4P was organically produced milk and other factors that supported the well-being of the production animals and the environment. If a company selling or producing milk tries to create value to its customers through differentiation of the features of the 4P, it needs to consider carefully which features to focus on.
  • Holttinen, Heli (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2013)
    Economics and Society – 263
    This thesis investigates consumer value creation as an everyday sociocultural and situational phenomenon. The first objective was to understand and conceptualize how cultural ideals and practices inform consumer everyday value creation. I examined empirically how consumers enact cultural ideals in mundane consumption in the empirical context of a weekday dinner practice among Finnish households. The second objective was to contextualize a value proposition concept in customers’ practices. The approach consisted of a theoretical investigation of how consumers experience and evaluate value propositions in their practices in order to draw theoretical implications. Integrating complementing knowledge from S-D logic, Consumer Culture Theory, and Practice Theory provided me insightful theoretical lenses for the examinations. The findings highlight the primacy of cultural ideals and practices in consumer everyday value creation and value co-creation. They inform the consumers regarding which value propositions are desirable and thereby guide resource integration and thus purchasing decisions. This thesis portrays consumers as pragmatic, flexible and fragmented value-creating agents. It demonstrates how the consumers enact and compromise cultural ideals and identity projects in relation to practices. They compromise identity projects and cultural ideals in some practice(s) but not across practices. As the practices serve different ends for the consumers at different times, the meaning of the practices is constantly re-created by consumers. As resource integrators the consumers accept and use value propositions in the practices in their own ways irrespective of firms’ intentions, in order to enact cultural ideals. Value becomes co-created only when the consumers (as customers) can enact cultural ideals by integrating firms’ offerings with their other resources - and as a result experience value. While this thesis illuminates the interplay among cultural ideals, practices, value propositions, and consumer action, it offers a cultural and practice-theoretical conceptualization of how consumers, material objects and a sociocultural environment interact and co-create each other at a certain time in history and in the consumers’ lives. The findings represent the value of an offering as a dynamic, context-dependent, intersubjective and subjective notion that is constantly co-created and re-created by customers. This thesis introduces firms a sociocultural and practice-theoretical approach for the new offering development process. It means perceiving and investigating customers’ lives and value-creating activities as a mosaic of practices in which the customers try to enact cultural ideals by integrating value propositions with their other resources. By contextualizing the value propositions in the customers’ practices, the thesis helps firms to improve the effectiveness of the new offering development process. Effectiveness here refers to the ability of the firms to create offerings that are both culturally and practically desirable for the customers. By addressing the cultural ideals and the practical realities of everyday life, effective offerings make it possible for the customers to enact the cultural ideals in their everyday lives.
  • Mickelsson, Jakob (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 267
    Due to changes in technology, customers are increasingly empowered in their interactions with companies. Information is readily available, and customers can choose, learn and contribute in ways previously unimaginable. Even though marketers have acknowledged the importance of understanding the customer as an active participant in service, there have been few efforts to systematically understand and illustrate the customer’s structures of activity. Customer activity has within marketing traditionally been viewed as a response to inputs from the provider. Advertising, for example, is seen as having a persuasive function: It should result in the customer’s activity of buying. Similarly, in service research, the customer’s activities are considered to be either directed by service design or as inputs into an interaction process. This thesis presents an alternative view on customer activity: It is a perspective on service use. In contrast to earlier perspectives, the customer activity perspective incorporates service as an enabling or supporting element in the customer’s activities. The thesis defines ‘customer activity’ as a discrete sequence of behaviour that through its outcomes aims at creating or supporting some type of value in the customer’s life or business. This definition enables new types of analysis. By identifying many separate customer activities, service providers can uncover interlinked systems of activity. Customer activities are connected to each other through, for example, frequency links, functional links, resource links, temporal links, cognitive links or geographical links. The role of service is to enable customer activity and serve as an ingredient in the customer’s interlinked systems of activity. Consequently, the thesis takes a customer-dominant stance on service. Customers are seen as controlling and combining the services of different providers with each other to serve their own ends. Customer activity is presented as a focal concept for understanding this process. Moreover, customer activity is viewed as more than simply interactions with a service provider or inputs into realizing a particular service. Rather, activities are elements that customers use to organize their own lives. The thesis contains empirical examinations of the relationship between customer activity and service. These show that customers maintain different types of activity systems, and that the same service can play different roles in the life of the customer. Service providers can use this information as input for service design, communication and customer segmentation.
  • Korkman, Oskar (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006)
    Economics and Society
    This thesis introduces a practice-theoretical approach to understanding customer value formation to be used in the field of service marketing and management. In contrast to current studies trying to understand value formation by analysing customers as independent actors and thinkers, it is in this work suggested that customer value formation can be better understood by analysing how value is formed in the practices and contexts of the customers. The theoretical approach developed in this thesis is applied in an empirical study of family cruises. The theoretical analysis in this thesis results in a new approach for understanding customer value formation. Customer value is, according to this new approach, something that is formed in practice, meaning that value is formed in constellations of the customer and contextual elements like tools, physical spaces and contextually embedded images and know-how. This view is different from the current views that tend to see value as subjectively created, co-created, perceived or experienced by the customer. The new approach has implications on how we view customer value, but also on the methods and techniques we can use to understand customer value in empirical studies. It is also suggested that services could in fact be reconceptualised as practices. According to the stance presented in this thesis the empirical analysis of customer value should not focus on individual customers, but should instead take the contextual entity of practices as its unit of analysis. Therefore, ethnography is chosen as a method for exploring how customer value is formed in practice in the case of family cruises on a specific cruise vessel. The researcher has studied six families, as well as the context of the cruise vessel with various techniques including non-participant observation, participant observation and interviews in order to create an ethnographic understanding of the practices carried out on board. Twenty-one different practices are reported and discussed in order to provide necessary insight to customer value formation that can be used as input for service development.
  • Gummerus, Johanna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011)
    Economics and Society
    Customer value has been identified as “the reason” for customers to patronize a firm, and as one of the fundamental blocks that market exchanges build upon. Despite the importance of customer value, it is often poorly defined, or seems to refer to different phenomena. This dissertation contributes to current marketing literature by subjecting the value concept to a critical investigation, and by clarifying its conceptual foundation. Based on the literature review, it is proposed that customer value can be divided into two separate, but interrelated aspects: value creation processes, and value outcome determination. This means that on one hand, it is possible to examine those activities through which value is created, and on the other hand, investigate how customers determine the value outcomes they receive. The results further show that customers may determine value in four different ways: value as a benefit/sacrifice ratio, as experience outcomes, as means-end chains, and value as phenomenological. In value as benefit/sacrifice ratio, customers are expected to calculate the ratio between service benefits (e.g. ease of use) and sacrifices (e.g. price). In value as experience outcomes, customers are suggested to experience multiple value components, such as functional, emotional, or social value. Customer value as means-ends chains in turn models value in terms of the relationships between service characteristics, use value, and desirable ends (e.g. social acceptance). Finally, value as phenomenological proposes that value emerges from lived, holistic experiences. The empirical papers investigate customer value in e-services, including online health care and mobile services, and show how value in e-service stems from the process and content quality, use context, and the service combination that a customer uses. In conclusion, marketers should understand that different value definitions generate different types of understanding of customer value. In addition, it is clear that studying value from several perspectives is useful, as it enables a richer understanding of value for the different actors. Finally, the interconnectedness between value creation and determination is surprisingly little researched, and this dissertation proposes initial steps towards understanding the relationship between the two.
  • Golik Klanac, Natasa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008)
    Economics and Society
    During past years, we have witnessed the widespread use of websites in communication in business-to-business relationships. If developed appropriately, such communication can result in numerous positive implications for business relationships, amplifying the importance of designing website communication that meet customer needs. In doing that, an understanding of value of website communication for customers is crucial. The study develops a theoretical framework of customer value of website communication in business-to-business relationships. Theoretically, the study builds on the interaction approach to industrial marketing, different approaches to customer value and inter-organisational communication theory. The empirical part involves a case study with a seller and nine different customer companies in the elevator industry. The data collection encompasses interviews and observations of representatives from the customer companies, interviews with the seller and an analysis of various reports of the seller. The continuous iteration between the theory and the case study resulted in the integrated approach to customer value and in the holistic theoretical framework of customer value of website communication in business-to-business relationships. The framework incorporates and elicits meanings of different components of customer value: website communication characteristics that act as drivers of customer value, customer consequences – both benefits and sacrifices, customer end-states as the final goals that lead customer actions, and different types of linkages between these components. Compared to extant research on customer value, the study offers a more holistic framework of customer value that depicts its complexity and richness. In addition, it portrays customer value in the neglected context of website communication. The findings of the study can be used as tools in any analysis of customer value. They are also of relevance in designing appropriate website communication as well as in developing effective website communication strategies. Nataša Golik Klanac is associated with the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management (CERS) at Hanken.
  • Voima, Päivi; Heinonen, Kristina; Strandvik, Tore (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010)
    Working Papers
    This paper extends current discussions about value creation and proposes a customer dominant value perspective. A customer-dominant marketing logic positions the customer in the center, rather than the service provider/producer or the interaction or the system. The focus is shifted from the company´s service processes involving the customer, to the customer´s multi-contextual value formation, involving the company. It is argued that value is not always an active process of creation; instead value is embedded and formed in the highly dynamic and multi-contextual reality and life of the customer. This leads to a need to look beyond the current line of visibility where visible customer-company interactions are focused to the invisible and mental life of the customer. From this follows a need to extend the temporal scope, from exchange and use even further to accumulated experiences in the customer´s life. The aim of this paper is to explore value formation from a customer dominant logic perspective. This is done in three steps: first, value formation is contrasted to earlier views on the company’s role in value creation by using a broad ontologically driven framework discussing what, how, when, where and who. Next, implications of the proposed characteristics of value formation compared to earlier approaches are put forward. Finally, some tentative suggestions of how this perspective would affect marketing in service companies are presented. As value formation in a CDL perspective has a different focus and scope than earlier views on value it leads to posing questions about the customer that reveals earlier hidden aspects of the role of a service for the customer. This insight might be used in service development and innovation.
  • Medberg, Gustav (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2016)
    Economics and Society – 295
    In recent years, value has become a central topic of marketing research and business practice and is now considered to be a foundation of all effective marketing activity. Value, however, is also one of the most debated and challenging concepts in contemporary marketing theory. The elusive nature of value has contributed to the difficulty for marketing researchers to define the concept. Several streams of value research exist within marketing literature, contributing to the fluid conceptualizations of value. The definition of value adopted by the recent service perspective on marketing theory is value as value-in-use. A fundamental principle of value-in-use is that value is always created and determined during use of products and services. But what is value-in-use, really? This thesis set out to explore what it means for customers in service contexts. Surprisingly little attention has been given in prior service marketing research to the question of how customers understand and interpret value-in-use. Such knowledge is essential for future research about value-in-use as well as for generating customer-centric marketing insights based on a service perspective on marketing theory. The aim of this study was to address this gap and further our understanding of value-in-use from the service customer’s point of view. To achieve the purpose of the thesis, the Value Chart Technique (VCT) was created. The VCT is a research method that captures customers’ perceptions of positive and negative value-in-use throughout service episodes. The method utilizes a graphical tool called the Value chart to track how value-in-use evolves. The VCT’s unique set of features makes it particularly suited for studying value-in-use as a dynamic phenomenon. For the empirical study, 26 informants were recruited, and they shared a total of 53 positive and negative bank service stories, which were analyzed using the VCT. The findings of the study show not only how value-in-use evolves positively and negatively over time, but also that customers understand and interpret value-in-use in service episodes as features of the service process, the outcome of the service, and economic features of the service, i.e., functional, technical, and economic service quality. Hence, this thesis contributes to service marketing theory by demonstrating that service quality and value-in-use in service episodes represent the same empirical phenomenon, despite their different theoretical traditions. As the findings indicate that service quality is the way in which customers understand and interpret value-in-use in service contexts, service managers are recommended to focus on continuous quality management as a way to facilitate the creation of value-in-use.
  • Genberg, Cecilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Till följd av förändringar i både detaljhandeln och i konsumentbeteende har kundrelaterad information växt konstant. Kunddata är en källa till värdefull information som traditionellt sett har utnyttjats till företagets fördel. Fördelarna som fås utav insamling av kunddata är många och företagen kan använda dessa fördelar till att försöka maximera sin vinst. Den enorma mängden kunddata som samlas in har föranlett att kunder vill veta hur den insamlade informationen i slutändan används och vill ha skäligt värde i utbyte mot det data som företagen utvinner på basen av insamlingen. Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka hurudan nytta kunder kan tänkas erhålla av tillgången till information i form av det kunddata S-gruppen delar med sig av i tjänsten ”Mina köp”. Forskningsmetoden som används är temaintervju och analysmetoden utgörs av en innehållsanalys. Som stöd för avhandlingens forskning presenteras kunddata och dess dimensioner. Hur kunden kan gynnas av insamling av kunddata behandlas genom att se på hur kundvärde skapas och hur kunddata kan användas på ett sätt som kunden drar fördel av. Teman som identifierades i innehållsanalysen var hälsa, ekonomi samt klimatpåverkan. Dessa tre teman speglar olika perspektiv om hurudan nytta kunden kan få av att använda tjänsten och utav informationen som erbjuds i den. Kunddata som S-gruppen delar med sig av kan ses som ett sätt att erbjuda kunder omvänd användning av kunddata. Genom att göra informationen tillgänglig för kunder såsom S-gruppen gjort, kan kunddata omvandlas till information som är användbar i kundens värdeskapandeprocess. Även om användarnas tankar och åsikter inte nödvändigtvis speglar verkliga handlingar fullt ut kan man få en helhetsbild av hurudan nyttan skulle kunna se ut.