Given the October 2007 conditions, it is imperative that eHarmony expands their membership to those interested in medium-term relationships. Its unique matching algorithm, central to its integrated system, represents significant differentiation among the competition. Welcoming members who are not specifically marriage-oriented can, in fact, strengthen its position of “serious” relationships within the personals industry. In addition, it is a key moment in the industry history, and an expansion of such dimensions can guarantee long run market dominance.
eHarmony relishes the advantage of being the first to incorporate the science of relationship in its model, and it could apply it to medium-term relationships. In an effort spearheaded by Dr. Neil Warren, the personals website successfully introduced matching on the basis of long-term compatibility. The usage of a carefully developed algorithm to match potential couples could be modified without any severe capital or strategic impact, in order to serve members not necessarily looking for marriage. The success of a medium term relationship, like that of a marriage, also depends on the similarity of personality, values, and interest preferences between a man and a woman. Therefore, welcoming this new group of members is not an attempt at serving a completely different customer base.
The matching algorithm, along with other features, allows eHarmony to successfully charge a premium in comparison to competing online personals. Although competitors also now incorporate a somewhat refined matching process, they do not have R&D practices comparable to eHarmony. Besides the field experience of its founder, Dr. Warren, eHarmony Labs is an example of the ongoing effort for excellence. An effort and infrastructure that can be readily applied to researching the “secrets” of medium-term relationships. Seekers of medium-term commitments regard a new relationship as something that is important to the...
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