Lean Thinking and Premium Brands: Conflict or Complement?

Oliver, Nick, Schab, Lee and Holweg, Matthias (2007) Lean Thinking and Premium Brands: Conflict or Complement? Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, 45 (16). pp. 3723-3739.


This paper explores the relationship between lean principles and success in markets for premium products. Drawing on data from two sectors — automobiles and high-end audio equipment — the paper notes that the development of premium brand products is often driven by strong organizational values, such as uncompromising technical excellence. These values can result in product attributes that are far in excess of functional requirements, which in lean terms represent waste. This implies that companies that adhere too narrowly to lean principles may be disadvantaged in niche, premium markets. This paper examines the interplay between product development practices, product attributes and market performance for premium autos and audio products, and discusses why Japanese companies (used here as proxies for lean product developers) are much less successful in premium, compared to mass, markets.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: lean, marketing, product development, mass markets
Subject(s): Organisational behaviour
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2015 15:41
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2018 16:19
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/5586

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