Customer Knowledge and Innovation: A Master’s Thesis exploring how companies can capture customer knowledge with the help of neuromarketing, social media and netnography and manage it for innovation purposes

Ásdís Kjartansdóttir & Steinunn Tómasdóttir

Student thesis: Master thesis


The speed and magnitude of new innovations being presented to the world has increased so dramatically in the last twenty years that some have concluded that the world has entered a new economic era: the innovation economy. In this economy customers are more demanding, asking for more customized products and thus customer knowledge has become essential for the corporate success. In this thesis we explore how organizations can capture customer knowledge with the help of three customer communication platforms; neuromarketing, social media and netnography and use it for innovation purposes. In this context, the thesis reviews how customer knowledge is attained from the three platforms in relation to innovation, with a knowledge management perspective. Several issues have been addressed in order to explore the utilization of the platforms for innovation and manage the knowledge gathered from customers. These issues construct the main research question “How can companies capture customer knowledge with help of neuromarketing, social media and netnography and manage it for innovation purposes?” A qualitative exploratory research has been conducted with the aim of gaining both a defining and practical view of the platforms as sources of customer knowledge for innovation. The research is divided into three sections; an extensive literature review of knowledge and innovation management, expert interviews and multiple case studies from a practical perspective. Firstly, the drivers behind customer knowledge management for innovation purposes are explored. Secondly, which kind of knowledge each platform provides is analyzed. Thirdly, the processes of attaining customer knowledge from the platforms are identified and finally the conditions necessary for utilizing the platforms are addressed. The main findings indicate that neuromarketing can provide customer knowledge that is ideal for usage in the later stages of the innovation process, especially for large established companies facing fierce competition. Furthermore, social media and netnography provide tacit and explicit knowledge that can be relevant at all stages of the innovation process and offer a holistic approach towards customers. The paper presents a managerial framework that can guide the exploitation of the platforms for innovation.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages166