Design & Innovation
In a fast-changing market, companies constantly try to continue to meet the needs of consumers and stay competitive by continuously marketing new possibilities and products. A small group of consumers, the so-called lead users, experience needs earlier than the rest of the market and take advantage of the new solutions for those needs. They actively participate in innovation and are a valuable source of new and commercially successful ideas for businesses. Lead users can also help spread new products on the market, as they have an influential position in the consumer network.
In order to identify such valuable human resources, companies have used survey methods such as broadcasting, screening, pyramid games and crowdsourcing. While those methods are effective, they require lots of time and resources: the identification process can take up to six months and experts are needed to analyze the large amounts of user information that is gathered from interviews or questionnaires. To identify lead users quickly and systematically, the Fast Lead User IDentification (FLUID) is proposed. This method uses data mining and machine learning methods. The next step in the research is the application of the new algorithms for user identification on various social media websites. The goal is to validate the approach for systematic identification of lead users through different social media for various