Customer Relationship within the Furniture Design Market : A qualitative study of how companies within the furniture design market relate to the challenges connected to customer loyalty

University essay from Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet; Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet


Background: The customer relationship is becoming more important for companies within the Swedish furniture design industry due to competition for market shares. The market is getting more crammed while the interest for furniture design amongst people is increasing, therefore furniture design companies need to find effective ways to attract loyal customers. Research has been made to show the importance of collaboration between companies and this is something that can increase the market share for the involved partners and reach a greater customer base. To maintain these customers it is essential to establish the right communication at the right time. Another area that will most likely increase and that companies can gain by communicating to potential customers is Green thinking. By marketing a company’s environmental work it can develop a stronger relationship with its customers. These areas might have significance in maintaining loyal customers in the future of the furniture design industry.

Research Question: What challenges does a Swedish furniture design company face when trying to gain or maintain customers?


Objective: The objective with this thesis is to gain a deeper understanding and analyse theissues and challenges new or already established Swedish furniture design companies face related to gaining or maintaining their customers. From the emerging responses about the relating areas of marketing and communication, collaboration, the green perspective and the conditions on the Swedish market, we aim to conduct thorough interviews with furniture design companies on the Swedish market. From the complied and analysed answers we intend to connect the challenges to the chosen theories to understand the importance of customer loyalty and the importance of it for companies in this industry.


Method: In this thesis the research strategy used will be of qualitative nature. The research design will take the form of a comparative study where we will investigate 4 companies and analyse their perspective on the areas that we aim to investigate. Thorough interviews with the chosen companies will be carried out in order to grasp the interviewees’ perspective on the subject rather than our own.


Conclusions: The findings of our research shows that smaller enterprises might struggle harder than bigger enterprises due to lack of resources. The lack of resources can negatively affect a company’s communication and marketing channels such as their environmental friendly work. Since expensive certificate that proves for eco-friendly products and services could be hard to obtain. The well established companies within this industry do not seem to adapt quickly to modern communication tools such as blogs or other social medias. This can be explained by the company culture and old heritage within the companies. Companies within this industry seem to lack of a clear strategy or well formed plan of how to reach and maintain customers. Therefore companies could benefit by having a clear strategy towards receiving loyal customers since it would clearly give them an advantage in this competitive market according to our findings. There also seem to be a lack of collaboration between companies which could also help companies to gain market shares and reach more customers. The furniture design industry is a competitive market and to endure the market conditions a focus on customer relationship and customer loyalty might be the best solution.


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