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Innovation and Strategic Renewal in Mature Markets: A Study of the Tennis Racket Industry (with Hann Kim).

Abstract

This paper presents a study of successive new product introductions in the mature tennis racket industry. The inquiry examines novel design's important role in strategic renewal, under the assumption that innovation includes not only the development, production, and launch of new products, but also communication between firms and market. We explore this industry's transformation through the strategic actions of innovative firms and subsequent competitive contagion. A tennis racket innovation triggers competitors' imitative reactions and sways the market toward a new de facto standard when the new product launch includes marketing such as product endorsement by high-profile professional players and advertising. Our results indicate that innovators should actively manage various industry participants as an integral part of their strategic renewal efforts, especially when facing rivalry with "me-too" peers. We suggest the interface between firms and consumers as a next focus for research on strategic renewal.