States that understanding of the durability of differentiation and positioning as strategies is generally limited, although these areas are of great interest to service marketers. Argues that service marketers must be aware of the need to create and implement durable strategies. Proposes a framework for identifying strategies resistant to competitive imitation, based on the isolating mechanisms idea. Gives examples of differentiation strategies useful for exploiting isolating mechanisms. Concludes that managers analysing the role of both competitive and customer‐based isolating mechanisms will be morelikely to adopt a long‐term, proactive view of service differentiation.
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