Bringing product and consumer ecosystems to the strategic forefront
The widespread adoption of technology and electronic media has dramatically altered the set of products consumers compare before making a purchase decision. Online platforms have succeeded at drawing linkages among products by highlighting those that are preferred, evaluated, or purchased together. However, despite the increase in both product and customer inter-connectedness across markets, managers continue to make decisions based largely on the dynamics of competition within narrow product categories. In this article, we raise the call for a migration from a category-focused mindset to an ecosystem-focused strategic mindset that acknowledges and accounts for the network of related or unrelated entities that a specific product resides within. We illustrate the importance of this shift using examples of preference, choice, and customer networks from popular online platforms. We then discuss the impact of the shift in strategic mindset toward ecosystems on competitive structure analysis, market research, brand footprint analysis, intra-band ecosystems, promotion planning, new product development, customer valuation, strategic alliances, and market segmentation.
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- Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2010. "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 59-68, January.
- Mangold, W. Glynn & Faulds, David J., 2009. "Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 357-365, July.
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