Challenging Traditional Growth Strategies - An exploratory single case study on how Forza Football designs user involvement growth strategies to enable viral growth

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Background and Purpose: In order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing businessenvironment, the question of growth is perceived to be an essential issue of survival andentrepreneurial behavior. Traditionally, strategies related to growth have mostly been related toexpenses on marketing or acquisitions of smaller competitors. An alternative to spendingmoney to achieve growth is to employ growth strategies related to market forces such ascrowdsourcing and network effects. Growth strategies related to the implementation ofcrowdsourcing activities and the creation of network effects have proven to be effectivestrategies for achieving viral growth. This thesis considers a single case study of Forza Footballand the purpose of the research is to explore how user-generated content applications can designtheir user involvement operations to create network effects as means for enabling viral growth.Theoretical Framework: The research builds on an extensive theoretical framework of theconcepts of open innovation, network effects and viral growth, with smaller related concepts assubcategories, resulting in a compilation of the characteristics that distinguish each concept andhow they are related.Methodology: The thesis is of a qualitative nature and the primary data is collected throughsemi-structured interviews as well as inside action research to make observations within theorganization. The interviews were held with representatives from Forza Football with extensiveknowledge of growth-related strategies in order to increase the chances of getting the mostrelevant empirical data in regard to the purpose.Findings and Conclusion: After summarizing and analyzing an extensive number of empiricalfindings, several conclusions can be made. It can be concluded that Forza Football designs theirapplication carefully to be able to make use of crowdsourcing and thereby engages their usersin the core business strategies and achieves a cost-efficient strategy to grow virally. Besidesgrowth, the user involvement growth strategies come with benefits like competitive advantagewhere Forza Football is gaining access to information that is difficult for the competition toreceive. Moreover, Forza Football designs the crowdsourcing strategy in a way that yieldsnetwork effects which in turn also favor the company and the users in several ways. Althoughmany benefits come with this strategy it is concluded that there are several challenges related.This thesis presents a new way of cost-efficiently increase a company’s growth in differentways, which is undoubtedly interesting for the majority of profit-driven enterprises. Also, thethesis contributes to theory by a proposed conceptual model explaining the relationship betweenconsidered concepts. Furthermore, the conclusion chapter includes practical and theoreticalimplications as well as limitations and proposals for further research.

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