Research

Optimal distinctiveness, strategic categorization, and product market entry on the Google Play app platform

New entrants often face uncertainty regarding how to optimally position themselves within product markets. We suggest that new entrants can use two important schemas to strategically categorize themselves to gain a competitive advantage in platform markets: category exemplars and category prototypes. Using a unique dataset of more than 83,000 new Google Play developers and more than 139,000 apps, we find that the optimally distinct entry point is at a high level of exemplar similarity and a low level of prototype similarity. We find that greater alignment of an entrant with the prototype corresponds to a weaker benefit of exemplar similarity. These findings have important implications for understanding competitive dynamics within product markets, strategic positioning at entry, and the interdependence of strategic categorization decisions.

Publication Information
Article Title: Optimal distinctiveness, strategic categorization, and product market entry on the Google Play app platform
Journal: Strategic Management Journal (Sep, 2019)
40(8)
Author(s): Barlow, Matthew;  Verhaal, J. Cameron;  Angus, Ryan W.
Researcher Information
    
Barlow, Matthew
Barlow, Matthew
Assistant Professor
Expertise:
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Management
Management
HLH 325 A
P.O. Box 880491
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491, USA
Phone: (402) 472-9420
matthew.barlow@unl.edu