Why do customers help firms ?
This is an interesting question which Stefan Engeser (Technical University of Munich) tried to answer. His research is certainly academic but nevertheless very promising for practitioners too.
I’d like to express my gratitude to Stefan who allowed me to reproduce his presentation on my blog.
Stefan participates in the Nanu project (www.nanu-projekt.de) which aims at involving customers in the process of creating sustainable innovations. I like this noble cause too. In this context the research question of Stefan was the following: «Why do people participate in user integration without (adequate) payment?».
His results show that motivation is mainly based on the following (quotes from his slides):
- Identification with the company/product and desire to help find new innovations (altruism)
- learning something new / accomplish something difficult (achievement)
- being with others
Stefan’s research is certainly exploratory but I hear already firms saying that they don’t see the point.
I see it and honestly I think that Stefan’s results are important because they give insights on how to tackle the firm-customer relationship.
One of the interesting contributions of this research is the classification proposed by Stefan on the user integration. It fits nicely in the co-creation discussion and certainly helps understand what the different levels of customer’s engagement are.