Product Line Design for Consumer Durables: An Integrated Marketing and Engineering Approach

Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming

58 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2010

See all articles by Lan Luo

Lan Luo

University of Southern California

Date Written: March 1, 2010


Product line design for consumer durables often relies on close coordination between marketing and engineering domains. Product lines that evolve as “optimal” from marketers’ perspective may not be “optimal” from an engineering viewpoint, and vice versa. Although extant research has proposed sophisticated techniques to handle problems that characterize each individual domain, the majority of these developments have not addressed the interdependent issues across marketing and engineering. We present a product line optimization method that enables managers to simultaneously consider factors deemed as important from both domains of marketing and engineering. One major advantage of this method is that it takes into account the strategic reactions from the incumbent manufacturers and the retailer in the design of the product line. We demonstrate in a simulation study that this method is applicable to problems with a reasonably large scale. Using data collected in a power tool development project undertaken by a major U.S. manufacturer, we illustrate that the proposed method leads to a more profitable product line than alternative approaches that consider requirements from these two domains separately.

Suggested Citation

Luo, Lan, Product Line Design for Consumer Durables: An Integrated Marketing and Engineering Approach (March 1, 2010). Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Lan Luo (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

Hoffman Hall 319
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1427
United States

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