Customer familiarity with new industrial product technology and its influence on adoption: The case of De Beers diamond extraction equipment

A Nabbie, JL Steyn


An investigation was conducted into the influence of industry customers familiarity with new technology on their decisions when purchasing discontinuous industrial products. This was done in the context where the supplier and customer organisations are entities in the same company. Even in this favourable context, continuous products remained successful despite a better solution being available. Literature on this close type of relationship is sparse, mostly because information on such internal processes is generally regarded as competitive. The case investigated was the DebTech division of De Beers, and their experience with products that they design and manufacture for the global diamond mining industry. Product developer and customer data from applicable projects was analysed, and interviews and observations were conducted. The results indicate that familiarity with the product technology favourably influences perceptions of newness, safety, and the ease of integration of a product. Familiarity increases customers propensity to recommend and purchase new-technology products.

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