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The value of brand / first mover advantage

The web sure is an interesting lab for testing and quantifying some of the accepted “truths” of marketing. What is first mover advantage in a market worth? In First-mover advantage, Infoworld reports on the results of a study comparing price increases at market (and mindshare) leader Amazon to the same price increases at lesser known competitor Barnes and Noble (barnesandnoble.com).  A 1% increase at Amazon resulted in a .5% drop in sales, but at Barnes and Noble the same price increase produced a dip of 4%.  The Amazon customer is much less price sensitive, it would appear.

Could it just be conditioning? After all, a common strategy for a company that is second to market is to cut prices.  Are Barnes and Noble customers more likely to be price shoppers as a result?

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