Keywords: product innovation, customer integration strategy, NPD, new product development, innovation process, anticipation, innovation brokering, degree of newness, customer contribution, customer requirements, industry establishedness
Customer integration strategies for innovation projects: anticipation and brokering
Integrating customer contributions into new product development provides an effective approach for successful product innovation, but little academic research explicitly addresses appropriate customer integration strategies. To explore such strategies, this study investigates the impact of different customer contribution types and timing. An analysis of four case studies with industrial goods developers in Northern Europe is used to draw a framework revealing two customer integration strategies: anticipation and brokering. As a practical implication, the careful selection of the customer integration strategy according to the company's industry establishedness and targeted degree of product newness is recommended.