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A leverage theory of reputation building with co-branding: Complementarity in reputation building
Choi, Jay Pil; Jeon, Doh-Shin
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We present a leverage theory of reputation building with co-branding. We showthat under certain conditions, co-branding that links unknown firms in a new sectorwith established firms in a mature sector allows the unknown firms to signal a highproduct quality and establish their own reputation. We compare this situationwith a benchmark in which both sectors are new and firms signal their qualityonly with prices. We investigate how this comparison is affected by the nature ofthe technology linking the two sectors and a cross-sector inference problem thatconsumers might face in identifying the true cause of product failure. We find thatco-branding facilitates the process in which a Þrm in the new sector to signal itsproduct quality only if the co-branding sectors produce complementary inputs andconsumers face a cross-sector inference problem. We apply our insight to economicsof superstars, multinational firms and co-authorship.
complementarity in reputation building
inference problem
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