Using Social Media Insights in Product and Service Development Processes: A multiple case study approach
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This thesis investigates which opportunities social media has for innovative processes by examining Integrasco and Dell IdeaStorm through a cross-case synthesis in the enlightened view of innovation and social media theories. In open innovation companies are seeking to exploit a landscape filled with abundant information. Social media can be described as such a landscape, but the tremendous impact social media has had on society makes it difficult to harness. Social media has in many ways changed how people communicate and interact with each other, sharing all kinds of information within open communities. While it might not entirely change how companies innovate, it does bring about a new dimension of opportunities and threats that needs to be handled consciously by innovating firms.The purpose of this thesis is to explore the possibilities for a new service, for Integrasco, aimed at delivering insights from social media to different stages in, new product development and new service development, and existing products, with the purpose to create the fundamental framework for such a service. This is done by means of a cross-case synthesis with Integrasco and Dell IdeaStorm.The main findings in this thesis show that social media can create valuable opportunities within every stage of the innovation chain that is not accessible with the channels used today, but that information from social media is not easily obtained. Even though the data is freely accessible to everyone, finding the right information, and turning it in to usable insights for innovation can be a challenging task. An advantage of social media is that it is fast, it allows for feedback from users in real-time, which is already used by companies to avoid possible brand damaging incidents when launching new products and services. A challenge that must be addressed before using social media insights for innovation is how to relate to Intellectual Property. As information in social media is freely accessible, chances are that it can be hard to gain ownership of this in terms of IP, but this is not necessarily a reason for not using it. By having an open approach to IP companies can foster user innovation, and gain valuable insights for their own innovation processes.The key challenges for Integrasco to deliver such a service are related to the reluctant mindsets within the clients industry to use this channel. This needs to be changed in order for them to deliver such a service, but as their clients are already taking advantage of the speed of social media for innovation, this can be overcome by working closely with them. Additionally the aspect of IP needs to be managed in cooperation with their clients, but as the methodology for one such service needs to be tailored to each client, IP should be included in this.Through the analysis of the two cases studies this thesis concludes that combining insights from social media with innovation has a great potential to create value for innovative companies.