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George John, Madhu Viswanathan and Mrinal Ghosh

In this chapter, the authors unpack the use of multiple channels to market a given product or service from the manufacturer’s point of view. They briefly review transaction cost logic regarding safeguarding specific investments, promoting adaptation, and mitigating the under-supply of activities lacking good output measures as the drivers of governance forms in a channel. Then, they develop and extend this logic to incorporate three key forms of heterogeneity – namely, firm, outlet, and customer pathways as well as synergies between different governance forms.

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Mrinal Ghosh, Kellilynn M. Frias and Robert F. Lusch

In this chapter the authors introduce a question of significant import to marketing managers: Where should their firm locate their offerings in the value chain? We term this concept as product-form strategies and using the service-dominant logic aver that the four principal product-form strategies, viz. sell intellectual know-how, sell intermediate components, sell final goods, or sell service solutions derived from the goods, are alternative ways in which firms can offer service to end-users. The authors first illustrate these product-form alternatives through a variety of examples and then draw on the literature in service-dominant logic and organizational economics to develop a framework that suggests the key underlying mechanisms that determine when and why firms choose one alternative product-form over another. Finally, the authors provide insights on how these choices impact marketing decisions throughout the value chain.