diffusion of product code scanning systems
Embed Size (px)
ABSTRACTS J PROD INNOV MANAG 229 lY87:4:3?5-238
concept, but one with physical features and total effects on the customer. This makes concept test- ing a dynamic element in the overall development and evaluative process, wholly different from the stereotype of asking a few customer what they think of one’s new product idea.
Diffusion of Product Code Scanning Systems, Robin N. Shaw and Anna Bodi, Industrial Marketing Management (1986), pp. 225-235.
New products managers are usually concerned with diffusion of innovation, either their own or that of someone else they are watching or follow- ing. Forecasting the state of diffusion is critical to assessing the appropriate strategy at any one time during the diffusion process.
Most new products people probably gather market information on the numbers of potential users who have adopted an innovation, and use various techniques for projecting the data into the future. The traditional Gompertz (S-shape) curve is common.
However, in 1982 some researchers reported that studies of innovation adoption should proba- bly be done by market segments, not for the total market. Adoptions would seem to vary by seg- ment, and they had some preliminary analyses to support their theory. The study being abstracted here is one created by the current authors to test this theory of segment-projections.
They chose grocery store scanner systems as the innovation, and they gathered data on the first use of a scanner system, by name of firm. Tradi- tional analysis would have plotted these data in time series format, fitted the Gompertz curve, and drawn the lines out to predict future rates of diffusion to other stores. But, to test the new the- ory, they divided their sample into independent stores, small chains, and large chains.
Study of the three segments separately showed that on three standard measures of diffusion the curves did not vary significantly. The three mea- sures were take-off rate, slope, and penetration. Take-off rate was defined as the number of months between the first month of installation of a scanner system in each segment and the month in which at least two installations were made. Slope was defined as the average number of com- panies in each segment that adopted scanning
each month as a percentage of the total number of companies in that segment. Penetration was de- fined as the cumulative percentage of companies who had adopted scanning in each segment.
In every case, the independents were slowest to move to scanning, small chains were the sec- ond, and large chains were the fastest. If one used rather sophisticated projection methods involving take-off, slope, and penetration, made projec- tions for each of the three segments, and then added them into one projection for the whole market, would that projection be better than a similar projection made with the same methodol- ogy for the one time series for the entire market? The answer here was no.
The conclusion by these researchers was that although there may be situations where segment- by-segment forecasting of diffusion will be better than total-market forecasting, they are not obvi- ous, and will require special methodologies de- veloped in this study to deal with special prob- lems introduced by segment data. There are probably better ways that research time and dol- lars can be used to aid our understanding of inno- vation diffusion.
Trade Marks for Services-The Kraft Decision, Nancy A. Miller, Intellectual Property Journal (November 1985), pp. 133-141.
A recent court decision in Canada (Kraft Ltd. v. Registrar of Trade Marks, 1984 I.C.P.R. 3rd 457 Fed.T.D.) has added fuel to the fire surrounding the long-standing concern businesses have over an omission in the 1946 Lanham Act. The Lanham Act provided for the establishment of service marks, yet failed to define “services.” Canadian law does not provide for service marks as a separate category but does allow services to be trade marked and also does not define the term services.
The Kraft case is a problem because the judge ruled that there could be registration of a mark for a service developed by Kraft but did so without using criteria developed unofficially over the years for this decision. The company asked for registration on “marketing services pertaining to a line of food products involving coupon pro- grams,” and the registration was initially refused by the Canadian Trade Mark Registrar on the ba-