Heeler, Roger M.
June 1986
Marketing Science;Summer86, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p273
Academic Journal
Awareness forecasting models, such as those discussed by V. Mahajan, E. Muller, and S. Sharma in their article "An Empirical Comparison of Awareness Forecasting Models of New Product Introduction," published in the 3rd vol. of the journal "Marketing Science," will be incomplete until they take account of the awareness effects of mere distribution. Distribution acts as both a main effect and as an interactive partner with advertising in the generation of awareness. For frequently shopped grocery items, the subject of most of the models, shelf visibility alone will generate awareness and trial. In turn this will generate some further awareness through word of mouth and through interaction with advertising and promotion. Evidence for this effect was recently observed in the breakfast cereal market in Canada. Generic and private labels have gained 4% of the market without advertising. Analysis of a natural experiment conducted by a manufacturer of cereals has been presented, in which two new brands of cereals were launched nationally virtually simultaneously.


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