Achieving competitive advantage and price premiums in many technology-based markets requires the incorporation of current technology in new products. To do so, firms in hyper-competitive environments increasingly plan and design their products concurrent with the independent development and validation of underlying technologies. Simultaneous validation of a core technology has important implications for a company's product positioning and launch sequence decisions making these traditional marketing decisions relevant to operations managers. Prior research has shown that to minimize cannibalization in the absence of such improvements in technology, a firm should not launch low-end products before high-end products. However, concurrent evolution of technology can make it desirable and even necessary to introduce low-end products before high-end products. This is because in technology-based industries, improvements in technology delay the introduction of a high-end product, and a firm must trade-off the benefit of launching the low-end product earlier (greater discounted profits) against the cost of cannibalization of high-end product sales. High-end product cannibalization can be further reduced by offering the customer an option to upgrade from the low-end to high-end product, with important implications for the firm's product positioning and introduction sequence decisions. Based on our study in the high technology industry, we model the product positioning and introduction sequence decisions under the simultaneous evolution of technology. Our analysis indicates that it may be optimal in a variety of circumstances for a firm to launch products in an increasing order of performance, even in the absence of network externalities. Besides presenting analytical results for product positioning and profit from different introduction sequences, the paper also makes a contribution to managerial practice by providing insights in the form of a conceptual framework. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
product development, new product series, introduction sequence
Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Finance and Financial Management | Marketing
European Journal of Operational Research
Shantanu BHATTACHARYA; KRISHNAN, V.; and MAHAJAN, Vijay.
Operationalizing technology improvements in product development decision-making. (2003). European Journal of Operational Research. 149, (1), 102-130. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5097
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