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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Strategic positioning in product-service firms Vandenbosch, Mark B.


This dissertation consists of three essays related to positioning issues in product-service firms. A product-service firm is defined as a company which is responsible for providing both the physical product and the associated services of an offering. This situation is typical of many companies manufacturing industrial and commercial products. The first essay develops a game theoretic analysis of two firms competing in a two-dimensional product market. Firms compete on price and both product dimensions. Models in corporating alternative differentiation assumptions (vertical, horizontal, and mixed) are analyzed with the results indicating the prevalence of maximum differentiation on one product dimension and minimum differentiation on the other. In the second essay, many of the assumptions of the economic models are relaxed in the development of a model which assesses the issue of how a product-service firm should choose its offering improvement strategy. The model addresses the strategic question of whether to invest in product or service improvements. In the third essay, one component of the model outlined in the second essay is developed further and an empirical application is undertaken. This essay develops an individual level customer decision model which estimates an individual's brand preferences as a function of brands' perceptual locations and prices. The model performed well in an empirical study of the western Canada combine harvester market.

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