11The free-ride trap

Take a product called Alka-Seltzer Plus. Let’s see if we can visualize how Alka-Seltzer Plus might have gotten its name.

A bunch of the boys are sitting around a conference table trying to name a new cold remedy designed to compete with Dristan and Contac.

“I have it,” says Harry. “Let’s call it Alka-Seltzer Plus. That way we can take advantage of the $20 million a year we’re already spending on the Alka-Seltzer name.”

“Good thinking, Harry,” and another money-saving idea is instantly accepted, as most money-saving ideas usually are.

But lo and behold, instead of eating into the Dristan and Contac market, the new product turns around and eats into the Alka-Seltzer market.

Every so often the makers of Alka-Seltzer Plus redesign ...

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