Case Studies

Cases will be discussed in class. The discussion questions below are provided to guide assigned case readings. A group case analysis write-up is required for the Sonance case, and details can be found in the assignments section of this course.

1 Lovelock, Christopher H. "Federal Express (B)." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-579-040, November 1, 1978.

1. Who uses the Courier Pak? How large is the potential market for Courier Pak? What are the appropriate target markets for Courier Pak?

2. What is the competition for Courier Pak?

3. Is Courier Pak consistent with Federal Express Corp's objectives and abilities?

4. Is Courier Pak an economically viable product?

5. How should Federal Express Corporation support and market the Courier Pak?

2 Silk, Alvin J., and Steven C. Michael. "American Airlines' Value Pricing (A)." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-594-001, August 11, 1993.

1. What is "Value Pricing" and why did AA introduce it?

2. What results did AA expect from this plan? What are the implicit assumptions in these estimates?

3. What is the likely reaction of each of the competitors? In the face of the likely competitive reaction, what should AA do?


Moon, Youngme, and Kerry Herman. "Aqualisa Quartz: Simply a Better Shower." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-502-030, January 16, 2002.

1. What is the Quartz value proposition to plumbers? To consumers?

2. Why is the Quartz shower not selling?

3. Aqualisa spent three years and €5.8 million developing the Quartz. Was the product worth the investment? Is Quartz a niche product or a mainstream product?

4. What should Harry Rawlinson do to generate sales momentum for the Quartz product? Should he change his marketing strategy to target consumers directly, target the DIY market, or target developers? Should he lower the price of the Quartz? Or should he do something different altogether?

7 Clarke, Darrel G., and Randall E. Wise. "Optical Distortion, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-575-072, January 1, 1975.

1. Is there a market opportunity for ODI chicken lenses?

2. Would you recommend introduction of ODI chicken lenses?

3. If introduced, how should chicken lenses be marketed?

Note: You can assume that a chicken life time is 1 year, 1kg~=2 lb, 1 ton ~= 2,000 lb. For the recommendation you may wish to consider the following points:

- Are the ODI lenses an economically viable product?

- Would the farmers eagerly adopt or resist adopting this product? Why?

- How should ODI segment the market and where should it concentrate its effort?

- Given the financial constraints faced by the company, what is a feasible budget? What implications does it have for the short and the long-run strategy of the company?

8 Lal, Rajiv, and Patricia Martone Carrolo. "Harrah's Entertainment, Inc." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-502-011, October 25, 2001.

1. How effective do you think the database marketing programs are?

2. Will they continue to be effective?

3. What are the social consequences of the product Harrah's sells and is it Harrah's problem?

4. What, if any, are the issues involved in using customer level data?

11 Mizik, Natalie. "Sonance at a Turning Point." Columbia Business School Case. Columbia CaseWorks. Case: ID#080515A, November 25, 2009. 

1. Evaluate current strategic position and the options available to Sonance.

2. Which option should Sonance pursue: develop and promote the ultra-luxury Architectural Series? Focus on basic in-wall speakers for production home developers and sell directly to the builders? Continue to pursue growth through the direct-to-consumer retail strategy?

3. What should Ari Supran do to generate profitable and sustainable growth for the company and sales momentum for Sonance's products? Should he change Sonance's marketing strategy to target consumers directly? target the developers of production home developments? target architects and interior designers designing custom homes? try to win back the high-end custom installers Sonance had lost under the previous management?

14 Gourville, John T. "Medicines Co." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-502-006, July 3, 2001.

1. What is the value of Angiomax to customers?

2. What price should the Medicines Company charge for a dose of Angiomax? Why?

3. Will this be an easy sell or a tough sell? Why?

4. If you were the Medicines Company, how would you promote adoption?

5. What do you think of the Medicines Company's business model of "rescuing" abandoned drugs?

16 Rangan, V. Kasturi, and Susan Lasley. "Rohm and Haas (A): New Product Marketing Strategy." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-587-055, August 6, 1986.

1. Is Kathon MWX a good product?

2. Should Rohm and Haas support Kathon MWX, or should it withdraw this product from the market and concentrate its effort on the more successful product Kathon 886 MW?

3. If you recommend that Rohm and Haas supports Kathon MWX, how should it be marketed?

17 Rangan, V. Kasturi. "Citibank: Launching the Credit Card in Asia Pacific (A)." Harvard Business School Case. Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-595-026, September 12, 1994.

1. Should Citibank launch the credit card? Why or why not?

2. If Citibank decides to launch the credit card, which countries should it enter first? Which countries it should avoid?

3. Which target market should it focus on? How should the card be positioned?

4. If you chose not to introduce the card, what would you do to achieve the $100 million earning target by 1990?