UNDERSTANDING CUSTOMER VALUE FOR COMMERCIALIZING NEW TECHNOLOGY
New technologies need to be successfully transferred into products to generate sales. One under-researched topic in technology commercialization is analyzing customer value. Although the general benefits of adopting new technologies are known, the sought benefits can vary much between project partners and therefore understanding the potential customer value is essential for creating consistent plans for exploiting the R&D results and launching new technologies into the market. Moreover, an early understanding of characteristics that really delivers value, can be a powerful argument in commercializing the new technology.
In NOVUM project, a comprehensive analysis of the sought benefits by different partners was conducted. For collecting the data for analysis, each main beneficiary of NOVUM project was interviewed. The analysis did not concern only the benefits from the technology but from the project, value chain, and manufacturing concept levels as well. Furthermore, economic, functional, and environmental benefits of the cellulose-based material and 3D printing technology were studied. By doing this, an extensive knowledge about the motives and objectives of each partner was obtained. Also, potential challenges that may occur in the exploitation of the novel technologies were studied so countermeasures to overcome these challenges can be planned and conducted before the launch.
The realized sought benefits were the main input in analyzing and defining potential customer value. When the individual customer values were identified, the key processes and resources for creating and delivering the desired customer value were studied next. Key processes and resources need to be ensured before the technology can be exploited internally and furthermore launched to the mainstream market. Hence, early participation of end users facilitates establishment of the complete value chain. Additionally, realizing potential customer value can help to recognize market orientation and understand the customer and thus help to identify potential manufacturers and end users.
Interviewing multiple end users generates valuable information about the product’s applications and can even lead to completely new products. However, this can also complicate the commercialization because multiple applications lead to multiple exploitation and commercialization paths. Which one is the most attractive path? Especially, when commercializing innovations, which market does not exist yet, a comprehensive analysis about the potential customer value can be a useful tool for detecting potential applications. In NOVUM project, the outcome of this analysis will be used when planning the commercialization of the cellulose-based materials and 3D printing technology in the coming months.