Product design innovation and customer value: Cross-cultural research in the United States and Korea

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Innovation is one of the key drivers of success that a firm must utilize to develop a competitive advantage. The ability to innovate is especially important for a firm's survival in dynamic, changing environments. Customer demands are constantly changing, and more purchases are made when a firm's product design incorporates what customers perceive as cutting-edge innovations. Satisfying customer demands is a distinct challenge for product designers because firms must develop a clear understanding of what aspects of design the customer wants. Although the importance of design has increased, very little research has been done to explain the relationship between product innovation and product design. Studies indicate that design innovation may create greater customer value through improvements in design value. Previous research has been limited and has not provided a clear concept of design innovation or defined the relationship between design innovation and marketing competencies. This paper seeks to offer a conceptual definition of design innovation, and to define the link between design innovation and marketing competencies. This paper utilizes cross-cultural research to discover how these concepts differ due to cultural differences between the United States and Korea. This research contributes substantially to our understanding of the relationship between design innovation and customer value. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]