Full-line or specialization strategy? The negative effect of product variety on product line strategy
This paper studies the product line decisions of firms under two consumer segments differing in their quality-sensitivity. We focus on a negative impact of the product variety on the consumers' motivation to purchase, while each product is horizontally differentiated. In the presence of this impact and high fixed costs relative to variable costs, it is shown that when a highly quality-sensitive segment exists, it is always advantageous for the monopoly to specialize in only one product serving this segment. However, the appearance of a competitor can drastically change the product line in the market. Under the duopolistic setting where two firms sequentially determine their product lines, we show that the leader gains a better financial result by offering its product to the low segment for many cases, including the case where no product is offered to the high segment by either of the firms who are in equilibrium. Furthermore, we obtain another interesting result that indicates that the follower's profit can exceed the leader's profit when the quality-sensitivities between the two consumer segments are sufficiently different, even though the two firms are symmetric except for the order of their product offerings.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brander, James A & Eaton, Jonathan, 1984.
"Product Line Rivalry,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 323-334, June.
- James Brander & Jonathan Eaton, 1982. "Product Line Rivalry," Working Papers 519, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Martinez-Giralt, Xavier & Neven, Damien J, 1988. "Can Price Competition Dominate Market Segmentation?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 431-442, June.
- J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2004. "Communication Strategies and Product Line Design," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(3), pages 304-316, January.
- Shin-Kun Peng & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2007. "Spatial Competition in Variety and Number of Stores," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 227-250, 03.
- Shin-Kun Peng & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2005. "Spatial Competition in Variety and Number of Stores," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-360, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
- Shin-Kun Peng & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2006. "Spatial Competition in Variety and Number of Stores," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 06-A002, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
- Preyas S. Desai, 2001. "Quality Segmentation in Spatial Markets: When Does Cannibalization Affect Product Line Design?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 265-283, August.
- Matsubayashi, Nobuo, 2007. "Price and quality competition: The effect of differentiation and vertical integration," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 180(2), pages 907-921, July.
- K. Sridhar Moorthy, 1984. "Market Segmentation, Self-Selection, and Product Line Design," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(4), pages 288-307.
- Kilsun Kim & Dilip Chhajed, 2002. "Product Design with Multiple Quality-Type Attributes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(11), pages 1502-1511, November.
- Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
- Shin-Kun Peng & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2007. "Erratum: Spatial Competition in Variety and Number of Stores," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 537-537, 06.
- Rajeev K. Tyagi, 2000. "Sequential Product Positioning Under Differential Costs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(7), pages 928-940, July.
- Sridhar Balasubramanian & Pradeep Bhardwaj, 2004. "When Not All Conflict Is Bad: Manufacturing-Marketing Conflict and Strategic Incentive Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(4), pages 489-502, April.
- Rajiv D. Banker & Inder Khosla & Kingshuk K. Sinha, 1998. "Quality and Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1179-1192, September.
- Klemperer, Paul, 1992. "Equilibrium Product Lines: Competing Head-to-Head May Be Less Competitive," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 740-755, September.
- Kim, Kilsun & Chhajed, Dilip, 2000. "Commonality in product design: Cost saving, valuation change and cannibalization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(3), pages 602-621, September.
- Michaela Draganska & Dipak C. Jain, 2005. "Product-Line Length as a Competitive Tool," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, 03. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:196:y:2009:i:2:p:795-807. See general 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: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.