Customer-perceived value in the circular economy: A multidimensional framework



The aim of our research was to find out, how the circular economy redefines business customers’ perceptions of value and how well supplier companies understand these perceptions. We conducted a qualitative cross-industrial study largely based on semi-structured interviews with five supplier companies and their 12 business customers, taking thereby advantage of valuable direct customer access in data collection. Our study shows that circularity modifies conventional CV dimensions (economic, functional, relationship, and identity value) and identified three new CV dimensions specific to the CE (ethical, strategic adaptation, and systemic value). Furthermore, our findings showed that suppliers’ conceptions of various CV dimensions were either partially (for economic, functional, and ethical value) or fully (for systemic value) misaligned with customers’ value perceptions of circular market offerings. Customer value is an essential catalyst of all business, including the circular economy. Therefore, in line with the CICAT2025 objectives, our study holds potential to facilitate significant advances of circularity in various industries.

Authors: Mikko Sairanen, Leena Aarikka-Stenroos ja Jenni Kaipainen, Tampere University

Published: Industrial Marketing Management

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Mikko Sairanen