Virtual Customer Integration in New Product Development Guido Lang University of Bern, Switzerland, email@example.com Marc Fetscherin Rollins College, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org Christoph Lattemann University of Potsdam, Germany, email@example.com International Academy of E-Business 8th Annual Conference, March 20-23, 2008
Introduction Cf. Füller et al. (2004), Sawhney et al. (2003), Leonard-Barton (1993), von Hippel (1988).
May impact the way businesses interact with customers
Market is constantly changing and evolving
Second Life (SL) encountered widespread public attention
SL is entirely built and owned by its residents
New Product Development
Innovation is key for competitive advantage
External knowledge to succesfully launch new products
Integration of customers into the product development process
Different development stages and integration forms
If and how are companies using Virtual Worlds for customer integration in new product development?
Only 17 percent of companies in Second Life use it for customer integration in new product development
Development of new core products mainly in later stages
If used during concept and design or product testing, this tends to be the main objective
Companies organize competitive contributions when customers are integrated in the concept and design phase
Most companies plan their activities as an ongoing development effort - not as a one-time event
Qualitative-explorative, hence no statistical generalization
Public announcements often only intention to act
Study conducted at an early development stage
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