Bases of product differentiation that are easy to

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Bases of product differentiation that are easy to duplicate: The one basis of product differentiation that is almost always easy to duplicate is product features. The irony is that product features are by far the most popular way for firms to try to differentiate their products. Rarely do product features themselves enable a firm to gain sustained competitive advantages from a product differentiation strategy. The only time product features can be a source of sustained competitive advantage for a firm is when those features are protected by patents. However, even patents provide only limited protection from direct duplication. Although product features, by themselves, are usually not a source of sustained competitive advantage, they can be a source of temporary competitive advantage. Bases of product differentiation that may be costly to duplicate: Some bases of product differentiation may be costly to duplicate. Duplicating the features of another firm’s products is usually not difficult. However, if that firm brings a series of products to the market, if each of these products have unique features, and
most important, if the products are highly integrated with each other, then this mix of products may be costly to duplicate. Links with other firms may be costly to duplicate, especially when those links depends on socially complex relationships. In the same way, product customization and product complexity are often easy-to-duplicate bases of product differentiation. However, sometimes the ability of a firm to customize its products for one of its customers depends on the close relationship it has developed with other customers. The product customization seen in both enterprise software and in high-end customized bicycles has these socially complex features. In a real sense, when these products are purchased, a relationship with supplier is being established. Finally, consumer marketing, though a very common form of product differentiation, is often easy to duplicate. Thus, whereas Mountain Dew has established itself as the “extreme games” drink, other drinks, including Gatorade, have also begun to tap into this segment. Substitutes for product differentiation: The bases of product differentiation vary in how rare they are likely to be and in how difficult they are to duplicate. However, the ability of the bases of product differentiation to generate a sustained competitive advantage also depends on whether low-cost substitutes exist. Substitutes for bases of product differentiation can take two forms: Many of the bases of product differentiation can be partial substitutes for each other. Other strategies can be substitutes for many of the bases of product differentiation. One firm may try to gain a competitive advantage through adjusting its product mix, and another firm may substitute strategic alliances to create the same type of product differentiation.

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Term
Winter
Professor
ttttt
Tags
Enterprise software, Canada Dry

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