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Leveraged High-Variety Strategies: From Portfolio Thinking to Platform Thinking, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science


The dawn of the 21st century finds marketers in a cruel double bind. On one hand, customers are becoming very sophisticated and are demanding customized products and services to match individual preferences and tastes. These demand-side pressures are forcing marketers to adopt high-variety strategies. On the other hand, competition is becoming intense, fueled by industry convergence, deregulation, globalization, and internetworking. These supply-side pressures are forcing marketers to hold the line on prices. Platform thinking allows firms to overcome inherent contradictions in variety management by enabling simultaneous improvements in speed to market, cost, differentiation, and quality. The 5 most important dimensions along which a firm needs to think about platform strategy are the product platform, the customer platform, the brand platform, the process platform, and the global platform. The dimensions are briefly described and the common insights that tie them together are highlighted.




Mohanbir Sawhney

Date Published



Sawhney, Mohanbir. 1998. Leveraged High-Variety Strategies: From Portfolio Thinking to Platform Thinking. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. 26(1): 54-61.


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