In this article, we develop an approach to assess a brand's vulnerability to changes in the composition of the assortment of other brands that it competes against. We conceptualize each assortment configuration as a single, unified, entity and estimate its location in latent assortment space based on the level of a brand's vulnerability. The results from the application of the approach to choices among a set of chocolate brands by a customer panel show significant variations in the patterns of vulnerability for a brand across its affinity-based segments. We also show that a brand's competitive strength against a specific competing brand is not constant, but contingent on the composition of the assortment. Finally, we find that assortments that result in similar levels of brand vulnerability vary significantly in terms of size and composition. These results provide a new, brand-centric, perspective on assortments and a novel approach to construct brand-specific rather than category-specific market structures.
- brand vulnerability
- market structure