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First-Mover (Pioneer) Advantage

Part 1. Marketing Strategy

  1. Peter N. Golder

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem01023

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Golder, P. N. 2010. First-Mover (Pioneer) Advantage. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 1.

Author Information

  1. Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


First-mover (or pioneer) advantage is the long-term reward that may accrue to the first company to enter a new market. Five key theories underlie a potential first-mover advantage: ease of recall, brand loyalty, technological leadership, economies of scale and experience, and resource capture. Many empirical studies report results that support a first-mover advantage. However, subsequent research has found that correcting for important limitations results in first movers having substantially lower rewards than found previously. These diminished rewards have led to a reconsideration of first movers' theoretical advantages. All such theories rely on the presumption that first movers are successful on one or more important dimensions. While some first movers are successful, most are not. Companies seeking to establish a first-mover advantage would be wise to regard the situation as a first-mover opportunity instead.


  • first-mover advantage;
  • pioneer advantage;
  • late mover advantage;
  • market entry;
  • entry timing;
  • launching new products;
  • marketing strategy;
  • competition;
  • competitive strategy