The role of consideration in the pursuit of market share : a study of the U.S. automobile industry
Author(s)Knight, Kenneth Darnell, 1960-
Sloan School of Management.
Glen L. Urban.
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The state of business in the U.S. automobile industry is such that competition is fierce, and consumers have a perplexing number of alternatives from which to choose. The final purchase decision by the consumer is where most industry experts focus their attention and efforts. Incentives and price wars are common as manufacturers fight for fractional market share and long-term survival at the expense of corporate profitability. However, the buying decision occurs at the end of the purchasing process, and takes place only after a consumer has formed a list of acceptable alternatives that fit his/her consideration criteria. This thesis explores the consideration phase of the purchasing process--(awareness -> familiarity -> overall opinion -> consideration)--with the goal of developing an in-depth understanding that can be used to formulate a strategic recommendation for General Motors regarding improving the consideration levels of several of its brands. The thesis begins with research into the attributes that form consumer consideration sets, as described by marketing and behavioral science scholars. These writings are applicable to brands, products, or services competing in many different industries because I believe strongly that the solutions to consideration problems will not exist solely from within the knowledge base of a firm's core environment. Next, a historical analysis is performed on independently collected consideration data for several General Motors brands as compared with key competitors. This analysis showed that a correlation exists between trends among subsets of consideration data and trends in brand market share, thus supporting the theory that growth can be obtained by addressing the consideration issue. Interviews were(cont.) conducted with marketing and brand management experts and customers from diverse industries around the U.S. Finally, the thesis presents lessons learned regarding experiences in the restoration of consideration after it had previously been lost to other competitors. As a result of this research effort, I present a framework for strategic market planning that is designed to facilitate improvement of the consideration levels of several GM brands more rapidly than their current performance suggests.
Thesis (M.B.A.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-84).
DepartmentSloan School of Management.; Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management.