Gaining customer insight : How companies can differentiate themselves using a customer-dominant logic approach on business
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this thesis is to develop a holistic understanding of customers’ value perceptions and experiences within the online apparel industry. In doing so, the authors’ hope to develop managerial guidelines for companies to utilize. This will be done with a customerdominant logic approach. Design/Methodology/Approach As the study aims to understand behavior and perceptions, the authors have used an inductive, qualitative method to gain the deepest possible customer insight. By using a case study, the authors have been able to further understand the given context. Using focus group interviews resonated in the authors aim to understand why the participants reasoned as they did, as they would in a focus group session argue for their standpoint. The interview template was influenced by the theories on value formation within customer-dominant logic. Findings This study strengthens the relevance of CD logic empirically and provides a deeper understanding of customers’ value perceptions and the reasons behind them. Functional elements of value were proven to be important, yet it was the values derived of emotional and life-changing elements that created true value. Based on the findings of this study, the authors have proposed a new term, true value, which refers to a state-of-mind in which a person finds in psychological well-being through the experiences derived from a product or service. Furthermore this study highlights social media’s importance within the given context. Originality/Value Previous research on customer-dominant logic has mainly been on a theoretical level. This research contributes to service research by studying the phenomena through empirical research within the online apparel industry. Furthermore, this research develops managerial guidelines for companies applying customer-dominant logic within the given context. Research Implications/Limitations Awareness of the importance of social media within the online apparel industry can provide insight and assist businesses in shaping marketing strategies. This research was limited by time, demographical group and geographical location. Furthermore, the generalizability of the results is limited to the given context.
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