Competitive Effects of Mass Customization
Earlier theoretical literature on mass customization maintains that customization reduces product differentiation and intensifies price competition. In contrast, operations management studies argue that customization serves primarily to differentiate a company from its competitors. Interactive involvement of the customer in product design creates an affective relationship with the firm, relaxing price competition. This paper provides a model that incorporates consumer involvement to explain the phenomena described in the operations management literature. Two firms on the Hotelling line compete for a continuum of consumers with heterogeneous brand preferences. An exogenously given fraction of consumers is potentially interested in customization. Consumer benefits from customization are the rewards from a special shopping experience and the value of product customization (better fitting product); these benefits are higher for consumers located closer to the customizing brand. When a consumer purchases a customized product, he incurs the waiting cost. The firms decide whether to offer customization, then engage in price competition. I show that customization increases the ``stickiness" of a consumer to the customizing firm, leading to less intense price competition. As mass customization becomes more efficient (the lead time goes down and/or the sunk costs decrease), customization by one or both firms occurs in equilibrium. I perform comparative statics analysis with respect to the fraction of consumers potentially interested in customization.
|Date of creation:||18 May 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Review of Marketing Science 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 118 Professional Building, Columbia, MO 65211|
Phone: (573) 882-0063
Fax: (573) 882-2697
Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Grewal, Dhruv & Iyer, Gopalkrishnan R. & Krishnan, R. & Sharma, Arun, 2003. "The Internet and the price-value-loyalty chain," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 391-398, May.
- Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
- Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Stevik, K., 1996.
"Persuasive Advertising and Product Differentiation,"
01/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Nils-Henrik M. von der Fehr & Kristin Stevik, 1998. "Persuasive Advertising and Product Differentiation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 113-126, July.
- Niladri B. Syam & Nanda Kumar, 2006. "On Customized Goods, Standard Goods, and Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(5), pages 525-537, September.
- Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006.
"On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
- David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2004. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," Economics Series Working Papers 185, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Meurer, Michael & Stahl, Dale II, 1994. "Informative advertising and product match," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-19, March.
- Bloch, Francis & Manceau, Delphine, 1999. "Persuasive advertising in Hotelling's model of product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 557-574, May.
- Niladri B. Syam & Ranran Ruan & James D. Hess, 2005. "Customized Products: A Competitive Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(4), pages 569-584, February.
- Rajiv Dewan & Bing Jing & Abraham Seidmann, 2003. "Product Customization and Price Competition on the Internet," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(8), pages 1055-1070, August.
- Haim Mendelson & Ali K. Parlaktürk, 2008. "Competitive Customization," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(3), pages 377-390, October.
- Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81.
- Nan Xia & S. Rajagopalan, 2009. "Standard vs. Custom Products: Variety, Lead Time, and Price Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(5), pages 887-900, 09-10.
- Victor Tremblay & Stephen Polasky, 2002. "Advertising with Subjective Horizontal and Vertical Product Differentiation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 253-265, May.
- Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
- Neeraj Arora & Xavier Dreze & Anindya Ghose & James Hess & Raghuram Iyengar & Bing Jing & Yogesh Joshi & V. Kumar & Nicholas Lurie & Scott Neslin & S. Sajeesh & Meng Su & Niladri Syam & Jacquelyn Thom, 2008. "Putting one-to-one marketing to work: Personalization, customization, and choice," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321, December.
- J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2004. "Consumer Learning, Brand Loyalty, and Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 134-145, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1007. 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: (Valerie Kulp)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.