Author's School

Olin Business School

Author's Department/Program

Business Administration


English (en)

Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Chakravarthi Narasimhan


The objective of this dissertation is to deepen our understanding of competitive and demand drivers of manufacturer new product introductions in consumer technology markets.

Researchers in economics and marketing commonly view differentiated products as combinations of "attributes" that are located in multi-attribute space. In first study presented in Chapter 2 of this dissertation, I conform to this common view of products as multi-attribute bundles and, therefore, carefully construct both a multi-attribute product space, as well as, and even more importantly, product clusters within this multi-attribute product space. I focus on the early stages of US Digital Cameras category: 1998-2000). Operationalizing and classifying all existing products in the category, as well as each new product introduction: when it occurs), on a common space of objective product attributes allows us to: 1) explicitly understand whether a given introduction is an incremental innovation or a radical innovation, and: 2) whether it is an introduction in to a cluster where the firm already has a strong presence or not etc. Further, it allows us to understand whether the new product introduction decisions of a firm are influenced by relative cluster characteristics which, in turn, are influenced by competitors' new product introductions in the different clusters etc. In the Chapter 2 of this dissertation I focus on two specific new product introduction decisions of digital camera manufacturers: timing and positioning. Additional insights are obtained from empirically estimating a pricing model using the same product cluster conceptual framework.

In Chapter 3, I study new product preannouncements, which have become commonplace in manufacturers product strategy in consumer technology markets. Here I undertake a detailed empirical analysis of the demand effects of product preannouncements within the digital cameras category. I estimate a new product adoption model using monthly data on product-level availability, sales and prices across hundreds of digital cameras that were introduced over a period of 4 years. I study the effects of the incidence and timing of a product preannouncement on demand for the preannounced product: i.e., digital camera model), as well as demand for its competitors. In doing this, I implicitly accommodate the impact of product preannouncements for individual products on category-level demand growth. Using a detailed model-based accounting of preannouncement effects, I separate the effects of a preannouncement on: 1) innovation and word-of-mouth components underlying demand for the preannounced product, and: 2) consumer preferences for preannounced product attributes. I demonstrate the managerial implications of the estimated preannouncement effects using a numerical experiment.


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