How does concept development contribute to successful launch? Exploring the role and the sources of Hard-to-Imitate Signals
Paper in proceedings, 2012

This paper explains why CD activities are valuable from a signaling perspective. By signaling, the firm attempts to influence the behavior of a customer. However, as most signals can be imitated or faked by competitors, a signal will only be effective from the firm‘s perspective if it is perceived as reliable by customers, which requires the signal to be costly or hard to imitate. This paper explains why repeated customer interaction during the CD phase can create new or significantly improved capabilities on the one hand, and create lead users on the other hand. The creation of new capabilities and lead users are two sources of Hard to Imitate Signals (HIS) which are perceived as reliable by customers and thus contribute to innovation and market diffusion. The paper discusses some general implications of the signaling perspective for CD.

Lead users




Business model

Fuzzy front end


Magnus Holmén

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Innovation and R&D Management

Sara Fallahi

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Innovation and R&D Management

Rifat Sharmelly

DRUID 2012, Copenhagen, CBS June 19 - 21

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Business Administration

Areas of Advance


Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

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