How they do it: Apple has created an ecosystem of hardware and software combinations. For example can the native music app of the iPhone only be connected through the Apple software iTunes. This creates a lock-in effect, also when the user wants to synchronize other media across devices.
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How they do it: Lego parts allow individual recombination of the parts. However this recombination is only possible with other official Lego parts and no other toys. This leads to a lock-in for customers, as the size of an existing Lego collection determines also the value of new Lego products, as the recombination possibilities are increasing.
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How they do it: Companies relying on Salesforce’s software are tied into the ecosystem. Switching to a new provider might be associated with considerable cost and efforts, and thus, customers experience a lock-in situation.
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How they do it: LinkedIn has several mechanisms in place to keep the communication and exchange between users on their platform. One example is that it is not possible to send email adresses in initial contact requests for free users. In addition, the platform’s value to the individual user grows with its network, increasing the barrier to switch to another network.
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How they do it: Data lock-in risks become evident when you need to move your data from one software vendor’s systems or servers to another. Companies using SAP’s software are locked in to the SAP ecosystem and may face difficulities in organizational rigidity and switching costs when deciding to switch to a competitor’s system, leading to a competitive advantage of SAP.
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