Customer Influence Value and Purchase Acceleration in New Product Diffusion
Posted: 24 Oct 2012
Date Written: 2012
When social influence plays a key role in the diffusion of new product, the value of a customer often goes beyond her own product purchase. We posit that a customer's value (CV) comes not only from her purchase value (PV) but also from her influence value (IV) (i.e., CV = PV IV). Therefore, a customer's value can be far greater than her purchase value if she exerts a considerable influence on others. Building on a two-segment influential–imitator asymmetric influence model, we develop a model framework to derive closed-form expressions for PV, IV, and CV by customer segment as well as time of adoption, and we examine their comparative statics with respect to the diffusion parameters. A key parameter of our model framework is the social apportioning parameter, d, which determines the credit a customer receives by influencing other potential adopters. We develop an endogenous method for determining d as a function of the new product diffusion parameters. Our model framework allows us to investigate how a firm might accelerate product purchases by providing introductory discount offers to a targeted group of potential adopters at product launch. We find that purchase acceleration frequently leads to a significant increase in total customer value.
Keywords: new product diffusion, purchase value, influence value, purchase acceleration
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