Unrealized solutions in business markets

Laura Elgeti*, Michael Kleinaltenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In business markets, customer solutions are sometimes bought but only realized and used gradually or even not at all. As such, unrealized solutions typically require high customer and provider investments of money, time, and other resources, which may “fizzle out” after their full or partial implementation, lead to financial losses, exert negative effects on the respective customer–supplier relationship, or cause further reputational damage. However, despite the sometimes considerable investments at stake and the possibly very negative effects of unrealized solutions, marketing research has not investigated them yet. This study thus conceptualizes unrealized solutions in business markets and, in a qualitative study with 25 representatives of solution customer and supplier firms, identifies the drivers of their occurrence and the forms they may take. Moreover, the study derives measures from these findings that providers can take to avoid and reimplement unrealized solutions or learn from them to develop future offerings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Customer value proposition
  • Solution business
  • Solution-specific capabilities
  • Value in use


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