Associate Professor of Marketing
A significant portion of academic research on marketing strategy focuses on how national brands of repeat-purchase goods are managed or should be managed. Surprisingly little consideration is given in this tradition to the extended role of geography, i.e. distance and space. For instance, manufacturers of brands in non-durable product categories are well aware of the fact that their national brands perform very different across domestic U.S. markets. This holds even for product categories with limited product differentiation.In this chapter, the authors outline various processes through which the influence of geography on performance of national brands materializes. They discuss a number of alternative explanations for the emergence and sustenance of spatial concentration of market shares. Several of these explanations are modeled empirically using data from the United States packaged goods industry.This chapter closes with avenues for further academic research on spatial aspects of the growth of new products.