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An act or strategy in which a company introduces a new product into a market where the same company's products are already well established. A company engaging in corporate cannibalism is effectively competing against itself. There are two main reasons companies do this. First, the company wants to increase its market share and is taking a gamble that introducing the new product will harm other competitors more than the company itself. Secondly, the company may believe that the new product will sell better than the first, or will sell to a different sort of buyer. For example, a company may manufacture cars, and later begin manufacturing trucks. While both products appeal to the same general market (drivers) one may fit an individual's needs better than the other. However, corporate cannibalism often has negative effects: the car manufactures customer base may begin buying trucks instead of cars, resulting in good truck sales, but not increasing the company's market share. There may even be a decrease. It is also called market cannibalization.
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cannibalizationa situation where a new brand gains sales at the expense of another of the company's brands.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson