Emergence of the Leader-Follower Structure Among Consumers: What Type of Consumers Would Be the Most Influential in the Marketplace?

  • Makoto Mizuno
  • Shoichiro Inoue
  • Masami Noguchi


In the fashion or entertainment market, for example, consumers often prefer buying potentially popular products before other consumers do so. For this, they can rely more or less on information obtained from their own reference group in making a more correct prediction on whether or not a product will become a success. We formulate these behaviors as a process of dynamically reconstructing reference groups to improve predictive performance, resulting in the evolution of a social network between consumers. Our simulation reveals the following: (1) The leader-follower structure would emerge in the network. (2) In cases where consumers maintain broad reference groups and are permissive toward others’ fail-ures, the network would be denser, and the leaders proliferated. (3) By accepting others’ opinion more easily and not expecting them to be highly reliable, consumers are more likely to become leaders. Lastly, we discuss the implications and further development of this study.


Personal Trait Reference Group Predictive Performance Subjective Probability Adoption Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bass F (1969) A new product growth model for consumer durables. Management Science 15: 215–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Eliashberg J, Shugan SM (1997) Film critics: Influences or predictors? Journal of Marketing 61 (April): 68–78Google Scholar
  3. Farrell W (1998) How hits happen: Forecasting predictability in a chaotic market-place. HarperCollins, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Godes D et al. (2005) The firm’s management of social interactions. Marketing Letter 16(3/4), 415–428Google Scholar
  5. Leibenstein H (1950) Bandwagon, snob and Veblen effects in the theory of con-sumers’ demand. Quarterly Journal of Economics 64: 183–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Katz E, Lazarsfeld PF (1955) Personal influence. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Rogers EM (1962) Diffusion of innovations. The Free Press, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  8. Sasaki Y, Matsumura N (2006) Discovery of leadership behaviors in NPO (in Japanese). Journal of Japan Society for Fuzzy Theory and Intelligent Infor-matics, 18(2), 233–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Watts DJ (1999) Small world: The dynamics of networks between order and ran-domness. Princeton University Press, New JerseyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makoto Mizuno
    • 1
  • Shoichiro Inoue
    • 2
  • Masami Noguchi
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Systems and Information EngineeringUniversity of TsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Hiroshima Home Television Co., Ltd.Japan
  3. 3.Service Delivery CenterTechnology Delivery, IBMJapan

Personalised recommendations