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Demonstrations and Price Competition in New Product Release

Author

Listed:
  • Raphael Boleslavsky

    () (University of Miami)

  • Christopher Cotton

    () (Queen's University)

  • Haresh Gurnani

    () (Wake Forest University)

Abstract

We incorporate product demonstrations into a game theoretic model of firm price competition. Demonstrations may include product samples, trials, return policies, reviews, or any other means by which a firm allows consumers to learn about their value for a new product. In our model, demonstrations help individual consumers learn whether they prefer an innovation over an established product. The innovative firm controls demonstration informativeness. When prices can respond to demonstration policies, the firm prefers to provide maximumly informative demonstrations, which optimally segment the market, dampen subsequent price competition, and maximize profits. In contrast, when prices are less flexible, the firm prefers only partially informative demonstrations, designed to maximize its market share at prevailing prices. Such a strategy can generate the monopoly profit for the innovative firm. We contrast the strategic role of demonstrations in our framework with the strategic role of capacity limits in models of judo economics (e.g. Gelman and Salop 1983), which also allow firms to divide a market and reduce competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton & Haresh Gurnani, 2015. "Demonstrations and Price Competition in New Product Release," Working Papers 1347, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1347
    as

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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1347.pdf
    File Function: First version 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2015. "Grading Standards and Education Quality," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 248-279, May.
    2. Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1988. "Advertising and Limit Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 59-71, Spring.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-483, December.
    4. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Viacheslav Sheremirov & Oleksandr Talavera, 2014. "Price Setting in Online Markets: Does IT Click?," NBER Working Papers 20819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-366, May.
    6. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    7. Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2018. "Limited capacity in project selection: competition through evidence production," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 65(2), pages 385-421, March.
    8. Pedro M. Gardete, 2013. "Cheap-Talk Advertising and Misrepresentation in Vertically Differentiated Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(4), pages 609-621, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Salvatore Piccolo & Aldo Pignataro, 2016. "Consumer Loss Aversion, Product Experimentation and Implicit Collusion," CSEF Working Papers 457, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    judo economics; demonstrations; product trials; product samples; return policies; money back guarantees; marketing strategy; product differentiation;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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