Imitation There is a chance of imitation when a company has achieved a firm position in it industry. This may reduce their market share if competitors succeed in imitating Ben & Jerry’s strategy and there is also a risk they will be losing their competitive advantage. A differentiated product becomes less valuable if imitation by rivals causes customers to perceive that competitors offer essentially the same good or service, but at a lower price (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009). Therefore Ben & Jerry’s are still on not in a risk free position even applying the differentiation strategy. They will lose their market share and competitive advantage if the imitation is successful. Difficult To Sustain Differentiation does not guarantee competitive advantage, especially if standard products sufficiently meet customer needs. The unique product of Ben & Jerry’s may not be valued highly enough by customers to justify the higher price. The customer experience can narrow customers’ perceptions of the value of a product’s differentiated feature (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009). By example, a customer that has positive experience with less expensive ice cream may lead to a conclusion that Ben & Jerry’s product are not worth of extra cost. Ben & Jerry’s must continue to meaningfully differentiate their product from time to time for customers at a price they are willing to pay.
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- Fall '19
- Marketing, Brand, new product development, Ben, ice cream