Paper Title
Key Success Factors to Increase Value Proposition in the Hospitality Industry

Purpose of this conceptual study is the identification and analysis of key success factors to increase value proposition based on design thinking of hotel executives and value co-creation with customers in the hospitality industry. Globalized dynamic markets and ever-changing customer needs and demands require ongoing experimentation and communication to steadily identify customer needs and wants in order to adjust products and services to ensure an increase of value proposition. In this research article, the two-fold role of customers and hotel executives in value co-creation processes leading to an identification of key success factors of value proposition increase is analyzed. The article emphasizes the essential role of customers as contributors to value co-creation processes and hotel executives as contributors to the creation and delivery of value proposition. Superior value proposition can be achieved by understanding actual needs and demands of customers based on design thinking and comparing them to value proposition elements that are perceived as being important by customers. Following this approach, key success factors for enhancing value proposition are analyzed. Design/methodology/approach – The authors applied several research methods such as a content analysis of distinctive streams in literature on value co-creation and underlying thinking logics, including design thinking for delivering increased value proposition. In addition, a customer survey was conducted with a representative heterogeneous sample, consisting of 1121 participants who stayed for at least one night in one of the hotels of the sample. Additionally, hotel executives such as hotel directors of 13 design hotels, which participated in the research, were interviewed. The responses of the hotel executives were compared to the responses of the customer cluster. Key success factors for value proposition increase were identified and analyzed based on the above-mentioned research methodology. Originality/value – This research methodology puts in clear evidence that there are statistically significant value gaps between the perception of value proposition elements of customers and hotel executives. The three key success factors driving the application of value co-creation as a management tool such as awareness of value co-creation among customers and providers, willingness to be involved in value co-creation processes and awareness of new thinking logics were identified, statistically tested and evaluated. Practical implications – The outcome of the research is that top management teams get the opportunity to reflect on newly identified and statistically analyzed key success factors of value co-creation. The key success factors of value co-creation to deliver an increased value proposition identifies the need of adjusting hospitality industry products and services to current and future needs and demands of customers. This will lead to an increased overall experience and satisfaction of customers. Paper submission category – Academic Research Paper Index Terms - Design thinking, Hospitality industry, Value co-creation, Value proposition