Title: A model of brand switching by lead users of high-tech capital equipment

Authors: Sam O. Al-Kwifi; Rod B. McNaughton

Addresses: College of Business, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, P.O. Box 1664, Al Khobar 3195, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ' Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre, University of Waterloo, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 240, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6R5, Canada

Abstract: This study investigates the antecedents of brand switching by lead users of high-tech capital equipment. In markets for capital equipment, the incumbent is usually assumed to have an advantage because of high switching costs. However, much of the research on brand switching focuses on mass-market consumers of competitive products, where switching barriers are manageable. A model of the factors behind brand switching for capital equipment is developed and tested with data gathered by a survey of research centres around the world that use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment. The results confirm the expectation that lead users are willing to overcome high switching barriers to obtain a new technology when it is essential to renew organisational capabilities that are important to sustaining their competitive advantage. The decision to replace high-tech capital equipment is primarily influenced by the features and capabilities associated with the new product.

Keywords: brand switching; lead users; capital equipment technology; product features; internal capabilities; high tech capital equipment; high technology; research centres; magnetic resonance imaging; MRI scanning; new technology;organisational capabilities; competitive advantage; switching barriers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2011.043811

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2011 Vol.6 No.3, pp.194 - 212

Published online: 30 Sep 2014 *

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