ABSTRACT

Purpose – Marketing scholars have developed various types of mathematical models for describing marketing phenomenon, because there is no single model comprehensive enough to incorporate all the relevant marketing phenomena. This study tries to summarize the behavioral foundations and the mathematical derivations of the most widely used marketing models and discusses their strategic implications. This study selected four representative marketing models: multinomial logit(MNL) model, elimination-by-aspects(EBA) model, Hauser and Shugan model and Bass diffusion model. Especially, this study focuses on Hauser and Shugan(1983)’s Defender model and discusses the model’s behavioral foundation and its implications. Research design, data, and methodology - Of the four selected model, the multinomial logit model is selected as the basic normative model and the other three models are described as descriptive models in contrast. Starting the discussion from the multinomial logit model, this study explains what important strategic variables are incorporated in each of the four models. The IIA(independence of irrelevant alternatives) axiom and Luce choice model is also discussed in relation to the multinomial logit model. The concept of ‘efficient frontier’ is discussed in relation to Hauser and Shugan’s model. Graphs and tables are used to represent the key implications. No empirical study is included. Results - The analyses of the mathematical marketing models are shown to be very useful in understanding the essence of positioning strategy. The multinomial logit model implies the importance of increasing utility or consumer preference level. The EBA model implies the importance of lowering the inter-brand similarity and dominating the competitors. Hauser and Shugan model implies the importance of considering customer heterogeneity distribution in selecting the target market. Conclusions - It is shown that the concepts of ‘efficient frontier’ is useful in understanding the effectiveness of positioning strategy. Market positioning can be understood as occupying some place on the efficient frontier. The important strategic implications can be summarized as follows: Always try to increase customer preference by providing what they value, and differentiate from competing alternatives as much as possible. The best positioning strategy is to dominate all the competitors and the worst is to be dominated by the competitors.

KEYWORD

Multinomial Logit Model, Elimination-by-Aspects Model, Hauser and Shugan Model, Bass Diffusion Model, Market Positioning.

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