Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Why Duopoly Is Not a Dirty Word

Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: Why Duopoly Is Not a Dirty Word

Article excerpt

Choice, we are told, is how capitalism, and therefore, marketing, works. It presents us, as consumers, with a plethora of options that drives innovation, efficiency and value.

Well, what a grand and neat theory. I was reminded of it as I learned about a new campaign from Moneysupermarket.com, aimed at seeing off its price-comparison rivals (see page 4).

In many sectors, we can't get enough choice. For some, it might be shoes or cufflinks. For others, it's gadgets or handbags.

However - and books and research have been published on the subject - too much choice can be paralysing. In my local supermarket, for example, there are a dozen brands of oats. Do I need so many options when it comes to such a basic and, frankly, boring foodstuff?

Here's where another theory comes in - that of the 'natural monopoly' It is heresy to unreconstructed Thatcherites, but after decades of economic experimentation, people are coming round to the idea that the mantra of choice is not the only answer. …

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