Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


European economies show dramatic differences in innovativeness


A study of 137 new product launches in 16 European countries shows the persistence of major regional disparity in the era of the European Union, according to an article in a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).

"While we expected some differences, we were surprised by the size of the differences," the authors write. "We were also surprised by the fact that Scandinavian countries tend to have the shortest `time-to-takeoff´ of all European countries. In contrast, the large economies of Europe – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom -- turned out to be less "innovative" than the Scandinavian countries."

Based on their research, the authors recommend that European marketers introduce new products first in a few countries, employing what is called a waterfall strategy, rather than in many countries at once, what marketing literature calls a sprinkler strategy.

"The International Takeoff of New Products: The Role of Economics, Culture and Country Innovativeness" appears in the current issue of the INFORMS journal Marketing Science. The authors are Gerard J. Tellis of the University of Southern California, Stefan Stremersch of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and Eden Yin of Cambridge University.

The authors employ a hazard model to analyze marketing data.

Normally, a new product is marked by a long introductory period when sales linger at low levels. At a certain point in time, the takeoff, a successful new product breaks into rapid growth and a large jump in sales. Time-to-takeoff is the duration of the introductory stage from product introduction to takeoff.

The authors´ most important conclusions are that –

  • "Time-to-takeoff" for new products differs dramatically between countries (for example, 3.3 years for Denmark and 9.3 years for Portugal). On average, time-to-takeoff takes about half the time in Scandinavian countries (4 years) as it does in Mediterranean countries (7.4 years).
  • Cultural factors partly explains these differences. In particular, the probability of takeoff increases in countries that place high in an index of achievement and industriousness and low in uncertainty avoidance.
  • Sales of most new products display a distinct takeoff in various European countries, at an average of 6 years after introduction.
  • Time-to-takeoff differs dramatically across product classes. The mean time-to-takeoff is 8 years for what are described as "white" goods (kitchen and laundry appliances) and 2 years for "brown" goods (entertainment and information products).
  • The probability of a new product´s takeoff in one country increases with prior takeoffs in other countries.

Because managers are under great pressure to pull the plug on a product that has not taken off, the authors suggest that introducing a product in a few countries that are expected to show early takeoff can win internal corporate support. The strategy allows lets marketers use sales data in one country to forecast sales in other countries where they plan to launch the product. Unfortunately, the authors observe, most European marketers do not introduce new products gradually and pay a penalty in failure.

The authors analyzed the takeoff of 10 consumer durable categories across 16 Western European countries. The study is one of the largest on international new product growth.

The countries included in the study are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The products are refrigerators, washing machines, freezers, dishwashers, color televisions, dryers, VCR´s computers, CD players, and microwave ovens.

The authors used data on product sales made available by Euromonitor, GFK, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), TableBase of Responsive Database Services, the archives of appliance manufacturers in various European countries, and a private observer.

The authors of this study were recently recognized with an award by INFORMS for research that helped Whirlpool plan the launch of its Personal Valet Clothes Vitalizing System.

Barry List | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>