Customer-dominant logic and the need for exploring app usage in different customer contexts

Jos Lemmink, Iva Franzelova, Maria Sääksjärvi, Kristina Heinonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Nowadays, customers have big chunks of information on their smartphones and can acquire information and make decisions rapidly, oftentimes with the use of specific apps. Most of the research on this topic to date has been conducted from the perspective of the provider, or the company, therefore missing the value that is created with these apps in the customer’s own domain according to the customer-dominant logic (CDL) approach.

As compared with prior research, CDL requires a different type of research that is much more inclined towards customers and specific circumstances. This paper is positioned within CDL (Heinonen and Strandvik, 2015) and aims to quantitatively explore app usage in different customer contexts.

Seven apps were tested in two different usage contexts: a social vs an individual context and a calm vs dynamic context. It was found that for the social vs individual context there was no difference; thus, managers should not pay too much attention to whether the user of the digital service is in a social context. For the calm vs dynamic social context, it was found that customers’ satisfaction, enjoyment, pleasure and their overall rating of an app were higher when the customer as in a tranquil vs dynamic context.

Research limitations/implications
The proposed method provides a highly relevant way to approach app development from a CDL perspective.

Practical implications
These findings provide evidence that context matters and that we should study customer behavior from a more integral and detailed perspective as has been advocated by CDL.

Social implications
App research should incorporate a customer focused approach. This means that not only the customers’ needs need to be considered. The circumstances and context in which apps are used are highly relevant as well.

This research uses a CDL approach to provide evidence about the consequences for app usage and satisfaction and shows the necessity of incorporating specific circumstances, customer experience and usage variables to a larger extend than has been advocated in the past.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Indian Business Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 07.03.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Customer experience
  • Service marketing

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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