This paper presents a case study of customer involvement in the XC90 project at Volvo Cars. A group of female customers in Southern California influenced the development of the XC90 by continuous involvement in the project. In a cost‐effective way, the project management team acquired a common understanding of the target customer, giving context to new product development decision‐making and eventually shaping the market offer. Customer interaction has been managed in a more subtle way than normally suggested by literature – tacit design by customer presence. The pragmatic and experimental approach to customer involvement used in the project complements conventional market research activities and is as associated with organisational innovation as it is with product innovation. This account of value co‐creation in the XC90 project offers guidelines for firms wanting to increase connectivity with customers in their new product development efforts.
European Journal of Innovation Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2004
Keywords: Customer orientation; Market orientation; Product development
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