Molina-Castillo, Francisco-Jose; Rodriguez-Escudero, Ana-Isabel; Munuera-Aleman, Jose-Luis
Marketing Intelligence and Planning (2012), Volume 30, Issue 2, Pages 165-187
Publication year: 2012


– The purpose of this article is to present a model that compares the switching costs that consumers face when they buy pioneering and follower products.

– A study of 255 new products indicates that switching costs are actually higher when switching from an existing product to a pioneering product.

– The study shows that people who buy a pioneering product may also face switching costs, if the pioneering product is launched in an existing category where consumers are already familiar with similar products.

Research limitations/implications
– The results help to reinforce the view that first movers have advantages and demonstrate that switching costs do not lead to a higher level of consumer retention.

Practical implications
– This study provides interesting managerial implications on how to launch new products more effectively when they suffer from switching costs..

– Researchers commonly view switching costs as a barrier to market entry that protects enterprises that launch pioneering products and gives them a competitive advantage over those that launch follower products. The underlying idea is that people only experience switching costs when they change to a different follower product, rather than when they purchase a pioneering product instead of the product that they usually purchase.