Lead-user research in the wood window value chain Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/g732dc678

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  • Lead-user research is a relatively new marketing research technique, and it has not seen much use in the forest sector. Lead-user research is designed to capture not just the needs of the customer in their own voice but also to involve actual users of goods and/or services in their development. Lead-users are those individuals who are on the leading-edge in adopting new products and services and who expect to realize the most benefit from these new products and services. This expectation is what drives lead-users to innovate. The qualitative study described here identifies and explores the perspectives of lead-users in the wood window industry. These users identified what they liked or did not like about existing products and services as well as desirable new products and services. Qualitative measures were used to document and summarize the results. Findings from this study outline various opportunities and challenges for the introduction of regionally targeted and green/environmental products, processes and services, thereby demonstrating the value of applying to lead-users for product development concepts. However, this study also highlights the challenges in using the lead-user method, including the varying definitions of a lead-user and the subjective nature of categorizing someone as a lead-user. These findings show that while there are multiple opportunities for window manufacturers to innovate and, in so doing, create superior customer value, there is also a need for greater familiarity with the lead-user method so that it can be effectively applied.
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