Cases

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Using Digital And Social Media For Brand Storytelling

Published Septmeber 09, 2016 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Pallavi Goodman
After the successful release of the first Hunger Games film in 2012, the film’s distributor, Lionsgate, was preparing to release the next movie in the series, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Fan expectations had grown after the success of Hunger Games and Lionsgate faced the challenge of keeping moviegoers interested and engaged in another Hunger Games movie. In an era marked by the rising popularity of digital and social media, Lionsgate knew that attracting fans to a sequel meant pushing the boundaries of traditional marketing tactics.

WMS: Revenue Model Innovation For Gaming Solutions

Published June 23, 2016 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Pallavi Goodman; Ori Broit
In 2014 WMS Gaming, a manufacturer and seller of slot machines to casinos, was considering a redesign of its existing revenue model. As technology evolved and customer demand for gaming solutions intensified, new and innovative revenue models were being adopted in other technology markets. Most notably, the subscription revenue model, in which customers paid a monthly subscription fee rather than a large upfront fee, was becoming widely adopted in the software industry. Product manager Dayna Stone had the task of evaluating several revenue models and recommending one that most suited WMS’s business needs and at the same time took customer needs and wishes into consideration.

Tabletteach: Opportunity Analysis For A New Educational Technology Product

Published May 29, 2015; Revised August 08, 2016 | Mohanbir Sawhney; John Miniati
In May 2013, Jack Russo, a Chicago-based tech entrepreneur, had to choose one of four possible product concepts to use as the starting point for his new K-8 educational learning company, TabletTeach LLC. At the time, the K-12 education market in the United States was experiencing major disruption due to print-to-digital transformation, new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core (rolling out in most states in the 2014-2015 school year), and increasing pressure from parents for schools to incorporate technology in their children’s learning.

TiVo: Changing The Face Of Television

Published May 29, 2015; Revised August 08, 2016 | Mohanbir Sawhney; John Miniati
A year into the launch of TiVo–the “revolutionary new personal TV service that lets you watch what you want, when you want”–John Tebona, VP of business development, was faced with important decisions about TiVo’s revenue model and strategic alliances. With television’s move from a network-based model to an interactive one, he had to decide what role TiVo would play in the emerging industry landscape. Would TiVo be just a set-top box or would it live up to the vision of revolutionizing the television viewing experience? What revenue streams should it emphasize to capture the most value? What strategic relationships must TiVo form in an environment where companies were cross-investing in multiple technologies across different industry segments? How could it expand its customer base and accelerate its revenues before competitors like Microsoft’s WebTV became the default standard?

Ontela Picdeck (B): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, And Positioning

Published December 01, 2009; Revised March 20, 2015 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Kent Grayson; Patrick Duprss; Christine Hsu; Ryan Metzger; Fuminari Obuchi; Arum Sundaram; Kari Wilson
The case reinforces the principles of data-driven customer segmentation, discusses the appropriate criteria for selecting segments, and provides a deeper understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches to identifying and evaluating segments. The case illustrates how the results of data-driven segmentation may run counter to approaches that rely on “gut feel” or qualitative information alone.

Ontela Picdeck (B) – Spanish Translation

Published July 2, 2013; Revised March 20, 2015 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Kent Grayson; Patrick Dupree; Christine Hsu; Ryan Metzger; Fuminari Obuchi
The case reinforces the principles of data-driven customer segmentation, discusses the appropriate criteria for selecting segments, and provides a deeper understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches to identifying and evaluating segments. The case illustrates how the results of data-driven segmentation may run counter to approaches that rely on “gut feel” or qualitative information alone.

Kindle Fire: Amazon’s Heated Battle For The Tablet Market

Published February 14, 2014, Revision Date: April 25, 2014 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Joseph Owens; Pallavi Goodman
This case is intended to illustrate to readers the challenges faced in 2011-2013 by Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, as he guided his company into the exploding tablet market. Faced with the tough decision between focusing on the e-reader market-which Amazon had come to dominate with its Kindle product line-and making a foray into tablets-for which it had no expertise-Bezos chose the latter.

Pagewell 2.0: Using Customer Research For Product Development

Published March 10, 2014 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Pallavi Goodman
PageWell, an e-reading platform provider, was preparing to launch PageWell 2.0 to the larger full-time MBA student market after a successful trial of PageWell 1.0 in Executive MBA (EMBA) classes at the Kellogg School of Management. Research had shown that full-time MBA students would be very interested in using products that allowed electronic access to course materials everywhere and across many platforms and that allowed electronic note-taking and storage.

Motorola’s Droid 2: The Product Manager’s Dilemma

Published February 19, 2014 | Mohanbir Sawhney; John Miniati; Kim Patrick Junsoo; Pallavi Goodman
After it introduced the extremely successful Droid smartphone into the market in 2009, Motorola quickly moved to develop the next-generation Droid 2 before the next wave of smartphones (including the rumored iPhone 4) flooded the market. The development process was moving smoothly for the company when Verizon, its biggest partner, dropped a bombshell.

Ontela Picdeck (A) – Spanish Translation

Published June 26, 2013 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Kent Grayson; Patrick Dupree; Christine Hsu; Ryan Metzger; Fuminari Obuchi
Ontela, a technology start-up company, has introduced an innovative service called PicDeck that improves the mobile imaging experience for wireless subscribers. Ontela sells PicDeck to wireless carriers, who in turn private-label the service to their subscribers. Ontela must decide which customer segments it should target for the service and how to create a positioning strategy and a marketing communication plan to promote it.

Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight Into The Life Of A College Student (A)

Published June 20, 2012 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Ashuma Ahluwalia; Yuliya Gab; Kevin Gardiner; Alan Huang; Amit Patel; Pallavi Goodman
Microsoft Office was facing an uphill task in engaging the undergraduate student community. Attracting this audience-the most tech-savvy generation ever-was critical to the future of the Microsoft Office franchise. Microsoft’s past advertising efforts to reach this audience had proven lackluster, while its key competitors were gradually entrenching themselves among this demographic.

Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight Into The Life Of A College Student (B)

Published May 20, 2012 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Ashuma Ahluwalia; Yuliya Gab; Kevin Gardiner; Alan Huang; Amit Patel; Pallavi Goodman
Microsoft Office was facing an uphill task in engaging the undergraduate student community. Attracting this audience-the most tech-savvy generation ever-was critical to the future of the Microsoft Office franchise. Microsoft’s past advertising efforts to reach this audience had proven lackluster, while its key competitors were gradually entrenching themselves among this demographic.

Modu: Optimizing The Product Line

Published May 11, 2012; Revised on March 14, 2014 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Jon Nathanson; Oded Perry; Chad Smith; Sripad Sriram; James Tsai
Israeli entrepreneur and inventor Dov Moran envisioned the creation of a mobile device that was a small, stand-alone, fully functional mobile phone that could be slipped into a variety of enclosures, or “jackets,” that would provide added functionality and better reflect the personalities of its users. As the development of the Modu phone began to take shape, Moran and his team decided that to ensure the success of the new phone’s much anticipated launch, Modu would develop and market the accessory jackets itself.

Cisco Systems: Launching The Asr 1000 Series Router Using Social Media Marketing

Published August 18, 2011 | Mohanbir Sawhney
his case focuses on Cisco Systems’ innovative probe-and-learn approach to using social media to launch its ASR 1000 Series Edge Router. The company had decided to eschew traditional print and TV media in marketing the new product and had decided instead to focus its efforts entirely on digital marketing and social media to attract the attention of its target market.

Ontela Picdeck (A): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, And Positioning

Published December 01, 2009 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Kent Grayson; Patrick Duprss; Christine Hsu; Ryan Metzger; Fuminari Obuchi; Arum Sundaram; Kari Wilson
Ontela, a technology start-up company, has introduced an innovative service called PicDeck that improves the mobile imaging experience for wireless subscribers. Ontela sells PicDeck to wireless carriers, who in turn private-label the service to their subscribers.

It’s A New Day: Microsoft’s Office 2007 Launch Campaign

Published January 01, 2009 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Sachin Waikar
Microsoft’s Office team was developing the marketing communication plan for its new product, Office 2007. Office was a very mature product and several versions of the product had been introduced over more than 20 years. As such, the new version had to overcome the consumer perception that the versions of Microsoft Office that they already have are “good enough” for them.

Siemens Medical Solutions: Creating A Customer-focused Organization For Solutions Marketing

Published October 01, 2007 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Shankar Balakrishnan; Maryam Balali; Brit Gould; Steven Stark; Larry Xu
Siemens Medical Solutions (SMS) offered innovative products and systems, clinical solutions, and services for medical professionals. Its latest project, transforming a hospital to digital records and processes, was experiencing serious delays that had damaged the relationship with the client. Management believed the underlying problem was that SMS was not using the correct approach to organization and processes for solutions marketing. The executives in charge of on-time completion and successful delivery of the project must now agree on a different recommendation.

Thomson Financial: Building The Customer-centric Firm

Published December 31, 2006 | Robert C. Wolcott; Mohanbir Sawhney
In December 1999 Thomson Financial (TF) began a radical transformation from forty-one divisions toward a more integrated firm organized around customer segments. This required active, coordinated involvement from business, organization, and technology functions, as well as sustained investment and execution through the crises of the technology market crash and September 11, 2001. By 2005 TF had emerged as one of the top three financial information firms globally (with Bloomberg and Reuters).

Educational Technology Corp.: Crossing The Chasm

Published December 1, 2004 | Mohanbir Sawhney
Todd Wilson, manager of partner development at Educational Technology Corp., needed to determine the targeting, positioning, and selling strategy for its innovative Interactive Mathematics software for the college market. This required determining what types of colleges to target and which stakeholders to focus on within institutions.

Blockbuster Entertainment Corp.: Growth Strategies For 1995

Published January 01, 2004 | Mohanbir Sawhney
Despite its clear leadership position, Blockbuster was running out of places in which to open new stores. As the growth and profitability of its traditional video rental business slowed, James Hilmer, chief marketing officer, evaluated two growth opportunities: set up virtual reality parlors within existing video stores, the test marketing of which had shown positive results; or leverage its retailing skills by diversifying into specialty retailing of merchandise from entertainment properties of its partners Viacom and Paramount.

Career Central Corp.: Building Critical Mass

Published January 01, 2004 | Mohanbir Sawhney
Jacob Matthews, chief strategy officer for Career Central Corp. (CEC), was faced with the challenge of growing the client base for CEC’s database of job seekers. While CEC had gained traction in signing up potential recruits, the number of employers using the site was still low, and if the trend continued, the recruits might soon start leaving the site. To grow dramatically, Matthews was exploring the possibility of partnering with executive recruiters, search firms, and other online search firms.

Motorola Wireless Data Group: The Envoy

Published January 01, 2004 | Mohanbir Sawhney
Elizabeth Sullivan, director of marketing for Motorola’s Wireless Data Group, was formulating the marketing strategy for its new wireless communicator, the Envoy. Early sales results for the Envoy as well as its competitors in the nascent personal digital assistant industry were disappointing, and Sullivan was under pressure to change this situation.

Rockwell Automation: The Channel Challenge

Published January 01, 2004 | MMohanbir Sawhney; Michael Biddlecom; Robert Day; Patrick Franke; John Lee-Tin; Robert Leonard; Brian Poger
Rockwell Automation’s Allen-Bradley division was considering how to deal with the threat posed by national distributors in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) business for its industrial automation products. National distributors were consolidating the MRO distribution channel, offering national account customers an integrated multichannel solution for their MRO needs. Allen-Bradley had traditionally served its customers through high-touch, high-value-added local distributors, but this channel was inadequate for the demands of large MRO customers.

Trilogy Corp.: Customer Value-based Pricing

Published January 01, 2004 | Mohanbir Sawhney
Steve Meyer, the chief marketing officer at Trilogy, was evaluating the best way to move forward with an innovative, customer value-based pricing approach for its enterprise software solutions. Trilogy had radically transformed its business from a product-centric organization to a customer-centric one, and value-based pricing was a pillar of this transformation. Meyer had to evaluate three pricing approaches: traditional license based, subscription based, and gain sharing. He had to assess which pricing approach Trilogy and Trilogy’s clients would prefer and the conditions under which gain-sharing pricing would work. Meyer also had to address several adoption barriers that prevented customers from embracing the gain-sharing pricing approach.

Microsoft Corp.: Branding And Positioning .net

Published December 1, 2002 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Brian Buenneke; Lisa Jackson; Lisa Kulick; Nancy Kulick; Evan Norton; Erica Post; Ran Rotem
John Williams, senior director of marketing for Microsoft’s .NET, was trying to build the .NET brand, a comprehensive family of next-generation connectivity software products. Highlights the challenges of branding and positioning a complex technology offering.

Rand Mcnally: Navigating The Wireless Landscape

Published January 01, 2000 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Ben Cooley; Jeff Crouse; James Dougan; Jh Johnson; John Johnson; Kumar Venkataraman; Shun Zhang; Andrew Malkin
Chris Barnett, director of global business solutions for Rand McNally, was deliberating how Rand McNally should respond to the emergence of wireless technologies for its traditional business of providing static maps and route-planning services. As maps became electronic, interactive, mobile, and enhanced with value-added features, Rand McNally’s mapping business was gravely threatened. The opportunities for Rand McNally weren’t obvious, and the pace at which wireless technology would disrupt its traditional business was also unclear.

Illinois Superconductor Corp.: Forecasting Demand For Superconducting Filters

Published January 1, 1996 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Lisa Damkroger; Greg McGuirk; Julie Milbratz; John Rountree
Illinois Superconductor Corp. a technology start-up, came up with an innovative new superconducting filter for use in cellular base stations. It needed to estimate the demand for its filters. The manager came up with a simple chain-ratio-based forecasting model that, while simple and intuitive, was too simplistic.

MRT Micro: The Cardioscope

Published January 01, 1996 | Mohanbir Sawhney; Benjamin Hill; John Miller; Peter Nylund; West Robbins; Richard Wharton; Severine Borut-Zaslavoglou
Jan Bakke, founder and chairman of Norway-based MRT, was planning the U.S. market entry strategy for CardioScope–its electrocardiograph system. How could MRT get a foothold in the U.S. market against competitors who had been around for 50 years? How could he ensure that MRT would be able to defend itself once it entered the market? What segments should it target, and how should it position itself?