Subject and Keywords:
In today's highly competitive environment, where sources of product and process-based competitive advantage are quickly imitated by competitors, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate on technical features and quality alone. Companies may overcome this problem by incorporating the ‘voice of the customer’ into the design of new products and focusing on customer value, thereby offering total solutions to customer needs. Therefore, it is critical for all technology based companies to gain an accurate understanding of the potential value of their offerings, and to learn how this value can be further enhanced. An important tool to elicit customer value at an early stage of the product development is the conjoint analysis. Conjoint analysis is a research technique for measuring customers' preferences, and it is a method for simulating how customers might react to changes in current products or to new products introduced into an existing competitive market. The paper will show how conjoint analysis can be used to bridge the information gap between the company and its customers, by confronting the value the company intends to offer with the value desired by its customers.