The Upside to Large Competitors

New research suggests that a smaller company can benefit by making consumers aware that it competes against bigger corporations.

Neeru Paharia, Anat Keinan and Jill Avery

Fall 2014

Large competitors are often viewed as a major threat for startups and small companies; big companies have more financial resources and greater scale, market power and brand awareness than smaller ones. However, our research finds that a smaller brand can actually benefit if consumers can see the competitive threat it faces from a larger organization.

When Cold Stone Creamery, a U.S.-based ice cream chain with about 1,400 stores, moved within 50 steps of a J.P. Licks ice cream store in Newton, Massachusetts, some people expected that ...

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