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1. Introduction In today's marketing environment of brand proliferation and intense competition, particularly in the consumer packaged goods industry,

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1 1. Introduction In today's marketing environment of brand proliferation and intense competition, particularly in the consumer packaged goods industry, what often makes or breaks a brand is how much distribution coverage the brand gets. As a result, there is often a scramble to get shelf space, which is very often limited, by the manufacturers. Retailers, on the other hand, are always trying to assess whether a new brand offered by a manufacturer is going to recover their cost of carrying the brand. An interesting question in such a situation is how a manufacturer, who has private information that its demand is going to be high, will communicate this fact to the retailer in a credible way and thereby assure itself of the shelf space that it would get if the retailer knew for certain which "type" (high or low demand) the brand is. On the other side of the coin, it is interesting to examine how a retailer separates the potentially profitable manufacturers (or brands) from the unprofitable manufacturers (or brands). This issue is critical because continuous development of new products by the manufacturers poses an enormous problem for retailers in allocating shelf space. For example, one study cites that in 1987, a typical retail chain buying committee reviewed 2,555 new products, up from 1,500 in 1978 (Sullivan 1989). Below is the start of Wujin Chu’s manuscript that was nearly rejected at Marketing Science in The Tale of Wujin Chu

2 1. Introduction In today's marketing environment of brand proliferation and intense competition, particularly in the consumer packaged goods industry, what often makes or breaks a brand is how much distribution coverage the brand gets. As a result, there is often a scramble to get shelf space, which is very often limited, by the manufacturers. Retailers, on the other hand, are always trying to assess whether a new brand offered by a manufacturer is going to recover their cost of carrying the brand. An interesting question in such a situation is how a manufacturer, who has private information that its demand is going to be high, will communicate this fact to the retailer in a credible way and thereby assure itself of the shelf space that it would get if the retailer knew for certain which "type" (high or low demand) the brand is. On the other side of the coin, it is interesting to examine how a retailer separates the potentially profitable manufacturers (or brands) from the unprofitable manufacturers (or brands). This issue is critical because continuous development of new products by the manufacturers poses an enormous problem for retailers in allocating shelf space. For example, one study cites that in 1987, a typical retail chain buying committee reviewed 2,555 new products, up from 1,500 in 1978 (Sullivan 1989). Just look at the verbs.

3 1. Introduction In today's marketing environment of brand proliferation and intense competition, particularly in the consumer packaged goods industry, what often makes or breaks a brand is how much distribution coverage the brand gets. As a result, there is often a scramble to get shelf space, which is very often limited, by the manufacturers. Retailers, on the other hand, are always trying to assess whether a new brand offered by a manufacturer is going to recover their cost of carrying the brand. For example, one study cites that in 1987, a typical retail chain buying committee reviewed 2,555 new products, up from 1,500 in 1978 (Sullivan 1989). An interesting question in such a situation is how a manufacturer, who has private information that its demand is going to be high, will communicate this fact to the retailer in a credible way and thereby assure itself of the shelf space that it would get if the retailer knew for certain which "type" (high or low demand) the brand is. On the other side of the coin, it is interesting to examine how a retailer separates the potentially profitable manufacturers (or brands) from the unprofitable manufacturers (or brands). This issue is critical because continuous development of new products by the manufacturers poses an enormous problem for retailers in allocating shelf space. 1. Introduction Distribution makes or breaks packaged goods in today’s competitive, brand proliferation environment. Manufacturers scramble for limited shelf space, while retail chains review over 2,500 new products each year to assess which ones will recover carrying costs (in 1987, up from 1,500 in 1978 according to Sullivan (1989)). In this uncertain marketplace how do manufacturers “credible” inform harried retailers about the anticipated demand for their new products? Talk is cheap.

4 1. Introduction Distribution makes or breaks packaged goods in today’s competitive, brand proliferation environment. Manufacturers scramble for limited shelf space, while retail chains review over 2,500 new products each year to assess which ones will recover carrying costs (in 1987, up from 1,500 in 1978 according to Sullivan (1989)). In this uncertain marketplace how do manufacturers “credible” inform harried retailers about the anticipated demand for their new products? Talk is cheap. Flab factor: 68% or (215 words before – 68 words after)/ of 5 verbs are now active; before 1 of 6 verbs was active. One compound sentence, one question and one very short sentence. Could use the “Talk is cheap” as transition into the next paragraph.

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6 Is this common in practice? Original text for Journal of Retailing Manuscript #585, submitted February 28, Literature Review While there is extensive literature on benchmarking applied to a diverse range of economic fields, the scarcity with regard to retailing bears testimony to the fact that this is a relatively under- researched topic. In relation to the two scientific methods to analyze efficiency quantitatively, namely, the econometric frontier and the DEA, several papers applying either of these two methods were found. In Table 2, we present the models, inputs and outputs used in the various papers published on retailing. INSERT TABLE 2 We verify that all papers used the DEA method and the sole paper applying an econometric model is Barros (2005A). Revision proposed by Reviewer 1 “While there is an extensive literature on benchmarking for different industries, there has been relatively little study of the relative efficiency of retail firms. We summarize the existing literature on benchmarking retail firms in Table 2. All except one of the papers cited in Table 2 employed the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology. The sole exception is Barros (2005A), which employs an econometric frontier model.”

7 Action Points* Draft your paper, then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Have your writing buddy read it critically. Activate your verbs. * Begin your own collection of action points

8 Writing to be Read Four good reasons to publish your work 1. Because I have to 2. Because I want to get ahead 3. Because I need to learn through others 4. Because I need clarity Four even better reasons not to publish your work 1. "It’s not good enough yet" 2. "I’m a failure" 3. "People might steal my ideas" 4. "I don’t have time"

9 A Sense of Purpose 1.What is this paper about - what do you want to say? 2.Why does it matter - why should anyone care? writer subject reader

10 Reviewer comments you don’t want to read: “Lacks a sense of purpose;” “Author does not explain why he is writing this paper;” “Not clear where paper is going or why;” “Presented some facts and shown some differences, but has not shown that these findings are important;” because they are often followed by “I recommend that this paper be rejected.”

11 Action Points Write down the purpose of your paper in three sentences or less.

12 Important Research * Defined by as findings about methods, models, or phenomena that are: 1. Surprising : changes in behavior are recommended. In other words, the new findings suggest different decisions or approaches; This is difficult to achieve. For example, Michel (1981) found that ten-year old children could predict the outcomes of 12 of 17 classical studies in psychology. 2. Reliable : successful replications & extensions. Replication is regarded as a cornerstone of science by leading scientists, yet it is seldom used in social science; Replication is regarded as a cornerstone of science by leading scientists, yet it is seldom used in business research. 3. Valid : empirical research shows that it produces better predictions or decisions than current procedures; Chamberlin (1890) claimed that sciences using the multiple hypotheses grow more rapidly. There is much evidence to support this view (Armstrong, Brodie & Parsons 2001). However, the method of multiple hypotheses is rare in business research. 4. Useful : the changes would have substantial economic or psychological benefits; 5. Implemented : the changes are used successfully by researchers. The term “successfully” is a key here. For example, portfolio matrix methods such as BCG are often used, despite the fact that they are not successful * Based upon Scott Armstrong, Journal of Business Research, 56 (2002)

13 Action Point Why is your paper surprising?

14 22 Writing Tips * 1.Avoid alliteration. Always. 2.Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. 3.Avoid clichés like the plague. They’re old hat. 4.Employ the vernacular. 5.Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. 6.Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary. 7.It is wrong to ever split and infinitive. 8.Contractions aren’t necessary. 9.Foreign words and phrases are not apropos. 10.One should never generalize. 11.Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” 12.Comparisons are as bad as clichés. 13.Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous. 14.Be more or less specific. 15.Understatement is always best. 16.One-word sentences? Eliminate. 17.Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake. 18.The passive voice is to be avoided. 19.Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms. 20.Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed. 21.Who needs rhetorical questions? 22.Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement. *John Prior, Department of Psychology, Illinois State University.

15 This afternoon, 1:00pm, meet at The Writing Center


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