Development of a market launch navigator for subscription business models in the manufacturing industry

Subscription Business Models (SBM) have a high potential to create new bundles of services (product, service and digital business) with continuous, customised service improvement and high customer loyalty. The analysis of customer-specific data enables businesses to offer customised services – consisting of product, service and digital service. This way, a business can, for example, offer the customer access to a service or an output by "subscription" instead of a one-off sale of a machine. The provider commits to continuously improving this service (performance promise) and offers the customer a benefit that goes far beyond the previous value creation. By combining the continuously improved performance with a (customer) value-based pricing model, SBMs in the manufacturing industry offer a win-win situation in harmonising the goals of customer and provider.

The market launch of SBMs is fundamentally different from the traditional product and service business. Due to high initial investments and the conversion of high one-off payments to smaller recurring amounts, the market launch represents a central challenge, especially for SMEs. So far, there is no structured procedural model with SBM-specific approaches and instruments.

The research objective of "SubaSa" is therefore the development of a procedural model ("market launch navigator") for the successful market launch of subscription services for industrial providers of SBMs. This approach supports the design of suitable customer segments, the development of a suitable pricing structure and the development of an optimised communication and sales concept based on provider performance characteristics and will be implemented in close collaboration with the International Performance Research Institute GmbH (IPRI) and the Institute for Industrial Management FIR at RWTH Aachen University.

The results developed in the research project enable SMEs in the manufacturing industry to launch their SBM on the market in a resource-efficient and benefit-oriented manner, taking into account customer and supplier goals as well as the 4Ps of marketing (product, price, promotion, place). The developed market launch navigator bundles the various requirements and serves as a guideline for successfully establishing SBMs on the market and scaling them quickly despite complex influencing factors and new framework conditions.

Cooperation partner: Institute for Industrial Management FIR at RWTH Aachen University

Funding body: The IGF project 21351 N "SubaSa - Development of a Market Launch Navigator for Subscription Business Models in the Manufacturing Industry" of the Institute for Industrial Management FIR at RTWH Aachen University is funded through the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) via the programme to promote joint industrial research (IGF) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) based on a decision by the German Bundestag.

Project period: September 2020 - August 2022