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Management article
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Reference no. CMR257
Published by: University of California, Berkeley
Published in: "California Management Review", 2003

Abstract

Firms put enormous intellectual and financial resources into creating differentiated products or services for their consumers. However, in many situations, differentiation may not be a profitable strategy. Spells out the conditions under which it is profitable to differentiate and those when it is not. Consumers learn about alternatives from advertising, and many consumers do not see advertising for all relevant alternatives. As a result, a significant fraction of consumers make decisions with limited information about the available alternatives. The value of creating differentiated products is ambiguous when awareness of products and their characteristics is the key determinant of consumer behavior.

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Abstract

Firms put enormous intellectual and financial resources into creating differentiated products or services for their consumers. However, in many situations, differentiation may not be a profitable strategy. Spells out the conditions under which it is profitable to differentiate and those when it is not. Consumers learn about alternatives from advertising, and many consumers do not see advertising for all relevant alternatives. As a result, a significant fraction of consumers make decisions with limited information about the available alternatives. The value of creating differentiated products is ambiguous when awareness of products and their characteristics is the key determinant of consumer behavior.

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