Optimal Product Line Design When Consumers Exhibit Choice Set-Dependent Preferences
AbstractIn a market of consumers with varying willingness to pay, using product line as a discrimination tool may extract higher profits than serving all consumers with a single product. Local context effects, however, point to yet another consideration in designing product lines: how the appeal of a product changes with the context provided by other products in the choice set. I present a model of product line design that incorporates both discrimination and context management goals and offers recommendations for the variety and positioning of products. To this end, the model makes use of a framework that allows preferences to be choice set dependent. Given this framework, I study how the firm manages externalities between products created by such dependencies. The firm creates distortions above and beyond those resulting from discrimination motives alone. For example, in a vertically differentiated market for quality, quality distortions exist even for the consumers with the highest valuations. The range of quality provisions, given the number of products, is compressed as the relative importance of unfavorable comparisons among products increases. Surprisingly, this compression may even lead the firm to forego discrimination among consumers regardless of the cost of offering distinct products.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.
Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (09-10)
price discrimination; product positioning; context effects; choice set-dependent preferences; context management; behavioral economics;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.