University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring the opportunity to combine customer segments in a b2b market

Teunissen, Nicolien (2019) Exploring the opportunity to combine customer segments in a b2b market.

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Abstract:One of the reasons companies fail to achieve sustained value creation, is not because they do something wrong, but because they maintain the same course of action for too long. Therefore, business model change is seen as an essential factor for company success, since it allows companies to take advantage of new opportunities while at the same time reducing the risk of becoming obsolete. This thesis is about the opportunity for the company MELEDI to expand business through business model change by focusing on a new customer segment. MELEDI is facing the challenge of expanding their business in the food service sector either with their current segment, a new segment or both. Literature points out the importance of knowing the value proposition of your customers. This value proposition is investigated by conducting empirical research among the current customers of MELEDI. The research was conducted by the means of a questionnaire about supplier selection, food trends and purchasing criteria and resulted in a response of 345 participants. The participants were divided in groups based on the type of food service company they own. The results were analysed trough SPSS. The groups were compared based on descriptives, frequencies and ANOVA analysis. Additionally, 46 in store interviews are conducted with customers of MELEDI. The data from both sources was combined to create profiles of each type of customer and determine their value proposition. As a next step, the value propositions of the customer segments were compared with the current offerings of MELEDI in terms of assortment and offerings to determine the gap. Based on the findings, the decision to invest in which segment can be substantiated and it becomes clear which type of changes are most effective. It appears that the gap between their current segment 1.0 is way smaller than the gap with segment 2.0. Overlapping needs were found, such as the need for premium brands and fresh meat. Brands which are missed by all those customers, are most interesting to add to the assortment, since the volume is highest. Within those brands, the products which are used by a lot of different customers are most appropriate to add to the assortment first. The research showed that the business of customer segment 1.0 is changing due to food trends. Healthiness, service and experience are the key aspects. Those aspects also fit with the value proposition of customer segment 2.0. MELEDI can take those aspects into account when searching for new products and emphasize those in their marketing activities. Since the gap with segment 2.0 is big and not easy to fulfil by a couple of small changes, the best strategy will be to stay focused on segment 1.0 and make changes according the overlapping needs.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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