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Innovation is collaborative | Mohanbir Sawhney | WOBI
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Biography

Kellogg School of Management
McCormick Foundation Chair of Technology, Clinical Professor of Marketing, Director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation

Prof. Sawhney is a globally recognized scholar, teacher, consultant and speaker in innovation, strategic marketing and new media. His research currently focuses on modern marketing, enterprise analytics and business innovation.

Prof. Sawhney has written six management books as well as dozens of influential articles in leading academic journals and managerial publications.  His most recent book, Fewer, Bigger, Bolder: From Mindless Expansion to Focused Growth, was published in July 2014 by Penguin.  His newest book The Sentient Enterprise, was published in the Fall of 2017 by John Wiley. He also published a book of poetry called Love, Longing and Loneliness in 2014. His research has been published in leading journals like California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Management Science, Marketing Science, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. He has also written several influential trade articles in publications like the Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune and CIO Magazine.  He has won several awards for his teaching and research, including the 2006 Sidney Levy Award for Teaching Excellence at the Kellogg School, the 2005 runner-up for Best Paper in Journal of Interactive Marketing, the 2001 Accenture Award for the best paper published in California Management Review in 2000 and the Outstanding Professor of the Year at Kellogg in 1998. He has been nominated for the Outstanding Professor of the Year at Kellogg in 2008 and 2009. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta in 2011. In 2014, he was ranked 16th on the list of most influential thinkers of Indian origin by Thinkers50 and the Institute of Competitiveness. In 2016, he received the Thought Leadership Award from NASSCOM, the Indian consortium for the IT and BPO industry. 

Prof. Sawhney advises and speaks to Global 2000 firms and governments worldwide. His speaking and consulting clients include Accenture, Adobe Systems, AT&T, Boeing, Cisco Systems, Dell, DuPont, Entergy, Ericsson, Fidelity Investments, GE, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, Intuit, Jenner & Block, Jones Lang LaSalle, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Company, McDonalds, Microsoft, Nissan Motor, Raytheon Missile Systems, Rockwell Automation, SAP, Sony, Teradata and Textron Inc. He serves on the boards and advisory boards of several technology companies, including Bahwan Cybertek, Cross-Tab Group, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Georama, Kognetics, LawGeex, PomVom, PypeStream, Sprinklr and vMock. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Study for Business Markets (ISBM) at Penn State University and a member of the Advisory Board at the Chicago Innovation Awards.

 Prof. Sawhney holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; an MBA from the Institute of Management, Calcutta; and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. 

Areas of Expertise Entertainment Marketing
High-Tech Marketing
Information Technology
Marketing Management
Media Marketing
Technology

Education MA, PhD, 1993, Marketing, University of Pennsylvania

PGDM, 1987, Marketing, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

BT, 1985, Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Academic Positions Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation Clinical Professor of Technology, Center for Research in Technology & Innovation, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern Unviersity, 1999-present

Assistant Professor, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1993-1999

Honors and Awards Thought Leadership Award, NASSCOM (India), NASSCOM India

Fellow, Institute for Study of Business Markets, Penn State University, Penn State University

Thinkers50 India - 50 Most Influential Thinkers of Indian Origin, Institute of Competitiveness

Light of India Award for Excellence in Education and Academics, Times of Money (a Times of India Group Company), 2012

Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2006-2007, 1998-1999, 1994-1995

Fellow, World Economic Forum, 2002

Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

Named One of the Worlds Best Known Indian-Origin Gurus, Times of India

Accenture Award, California Management Review, 2001

L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 1998

Education Academic Positions Honors and Awards

Read about executive education

Cases

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Gianmario Verona and Emanuela Prandelli. 2005. Collaborating to Create: The Internet as a Platform for Customer Engagement in Product Innovation. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 19(4): 4-17.

In the networked world, firms are recognizing the power of the Internet as a platform for co-creating value with customers. A key aspect of co-creation is collaborative innovation engaging customers in the firm's product innovation process. We focus on how firms can use the Internet as an enabling platform for collaborative product innovation. We outline key differentiating capabilities of the Internet as a platform for customer engagement, including interactivity, enhanced reach, persistence, speed and flexibility, and suggest that firms can use these capabilities to engage customers in collaborative product innovation through a variety of Internet-based mechanisms. We discuss how these Internet-based mechanisms can enhance collaborative innovation at different stages of the New Product Development (NPD) process and based on different types of customer involvement. We present two detailed exploratory case studies to illustrate how leading firms are engaging in collaborative innovation with customers - Ducati from the automotive industry and Eli Lilly from the pharmaceutical industry. We derive implications for managerial practice and research on collaborative innovation.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Emanuela Prandelli and Gianmario Verona. 2003. The Power of Innomediation. MIT Sloan Management Review. 44(2): 77-82.

In recent years, many companies have learned to use the Internet as a powerful platform for collaborating directly with customers on innovation. But direct interactions facilitated by customer advisory panels, online communities and product-design tool kits have limitations. They don't always allow companies to reach the right customers at the right time and in the right context. Thus, to fully exploit the Internet as an enabler of innovation, companies need to complement their direct channels of customer interaction by using third parties that can help them bridge gaps in customer knowledge. The authors call this process of indirect, or mediated, innovation innomediation and the third-party actors at the center of it innomediaries. In their research, the authors identified three distinct types of innomediary and observed how each one can help companies acquire different forms of customer knowledge. Using case studies, they suggest ways in which companies can begin to think about exploiting the power of these emerging intermediaries. For businesses that learn to use customer knowledge from both direct and indirect sources, the Internet holds the key to a multichannel innovation strategy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Emanuela Prandelli. 2001. Communities of Creation: Managing Distributed Innovation in Turbulent Markets. California Management Review. 42(4): 24-54.

A new model for managing distributed innovation, the community of creation is a governance mechanism for managing innovation that lies between the hierarchy- based (closed) mechanism and the market-based (open) mechanism for innovation management. The community-centric model shifts the locus of innovation beyond the boundaries of the firm, to a community of individuals and firms that collaborate to create joint intellectual property. A community of creation requires an identified sponsor, a set of ground rules for participation, and a system for managing intellectual property rights. The community of creation model allows innovation to proceed in a complex environment by striking a balance between order and chaos. This article presents detailed case studies from the computer industry to highlight the differences among the different approaches to innovation management. It also discusses the opportunities and the unresolved issues of the community of creation model for practitioners as well as for academics.

Eliashberg, Jehoshua, Jedid-Jah Jonker, Mohanbir Sawhney and Berend Weirenga. 2000. MOVIEMOD: An Implementable Decision-Support System for Prerelease Market Evaluation of Motion Pictures. Marketing Science. 19(3): 226-243.

In spite of the high financial stakes involved in marketing new motion pictures, marketing science models have not been applied to the prerelease market evaluation of motion pictures. The motion picture industry poses some unique challenges. For example, the consumer adoption process for movies is very sensitive to word-of-mouth interactions, which are difficult to measure and predict before the movie has been released. In this article, we undertake the challenge to develop and implement MOVIEMOD, a prerelease market evaluation model for the motion picture industry. MOVIEMOD is designed to generate box-office forecasts and to support marketing decisions for a new movie after the movie has been produced (or when it is available in a rough cut) but before it has been released. Unlike other forecasting models for motion pictures, the calibration of MOVIEMOD does not require any actual sales data. Also, the data collection time for a product with a limited lifetime such as a movie should not take too long. For MOVIEMOD it takes only three hours in a "consumer clinic" to collect the data needed for the prediction of box-office sales and the evaluation of alternative marketing plans. The model is based on a behavioral representation of the consumer adoption process for movies as a macroflow process. The heart of MOVIEMOD is an interactive Markov chain model describing the macro-flow process. According to this model, at any point in time with respect to the movie under study, a consumer can be found in one of the following behavioral states: undecided, considerer, rejecter, positive spreader, negative spreader, and inactive. The progression of consumers through the behavioral states depends on a set of movie-specific factors that are related to the marketing mix, as well as on a set of more general behavioral factors that characterize the movie-going behavior in the population of interest. This interactive Markov chain model allows us to account for word-of-mouth interactions among potential adopters and several types of word-of-mouth spreaders in the population. Marketing variables that influence the transitions among the states are movie theme acceptability, promotion strategy, distribution strategy, and the movie experience. The model is calibrated in a consumer clinic experiment. Respondents fill out a questionnaire with general items related to their movie-going and movie communication behavior, they are exposed to different sets of information stimuli, they are actually shown the movie, and finally, they fill outpostmovie evaluations, including word-of-mouth intentions.These measures are used to estimate the word-of-mouth parameters and other behavioral factors, as well as the movie-specific parameters of the model. MOVIEMOD produces forecasts of the awareness, adoption intention, and cumulative penetration for a new movie within the population of interest for a given base marketing plan. It also provides diagnostic information on the likely impact of alternative marketing plans on the commercial performance of a new movie. We describe two applications of MOVIEMOD: One is a pilot study conducted without studio cooperation in the United States, and the other is a full-fledged implementation conducted with cooperation of the movie's distributor and exhibitor in the Netherlands. The implementations suggest that MOVIEMOD produces reasonably accurate forecasts of box-office performance. More importantly, the model offers the opportunity to simulate the effects of alternative marketing plans. In the Dutch application, the effects of extra advertising, extra magazine articles, extra TV commercials, and higher trailer intensity (compared to the base marketing plan of the distributor) were analyzed. We demonstrate the value of these decision-support capabilities of MOVIEMOD in assisting managers to identify a final plan that resulted in an almost 50% increase in the test movie's revenue performance, compared to the marketing plan initially contemplated. Management implemented this recommended plan, which resulted in box-office sales that were within 5% of the MOVIEMOD prediction. MOVIEMOD was also tested against several benchmark models, and its prediction was better in all cases. An evaluation of MOVIEMOD jointly by the Dutch exhibitor and the distributor showed that both parties were positive about and appreciated its performance as a decision-support tool. In particular, the distributor, who has more stakes in the domestic performance of its movies, showed a great interest in using MOVIEMOD for subsequent evaluations of new movies prior to their release. Based on such evaluations and the initial validation results, MOVIEMOD can fruitfully (and inexpensively) be used to provide researchers and managers with a deeper understanding of the factors that drive audience response to new motion pictures, and it can be instrumental in developing other decision-support systems that can improve the odds of commercial success of new experiential products.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2006. Creating and Capturing Value in Distributed Innovation: Towards a Contingent Model for Solving The Paradox of Creative Destruction.

The emergence of open standards and the consequent increase in the fragmentation of knowledge flows which are relevant for most of the industries of modern economies has changed the conceptual and practical interpretation of the management of innovation. By building on existing literature on distributed innovation and with a detailed evidence from a set of enlightening case studies, in this paper we gain two results. We first develop a taxonomy of four emerging modes of value creation and capture in the context of distributed innovation. We then analytically discuss the alternative strategic and organizational approaches through two sets of contingencies: (a) the key variables that guide firms to select the optimal model for creating value through distributed innovation; (b) the systems of incentives that help firms to extract value from the different models. In so doing we provide managerial guidance for value creation and capture in the networked world and derive implications for future research on these topics.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Sanjay Khosla. 2014. Fewer. Bigger, Bolder: From Mindless Expansion to Focused Growth. Penguin Books.

Despite the relentless pressure for growth experienced by most managers, some kinds of revenue growth can be toxic for your business. The best way to promote growth is not through undisciplined expansion. It's through concentrated focus. Pursuing every revenue dollar that comes your way will limit the funds and energy you devote to the initiatives that matter. Only by narrowing in on a few key areas where you can win and distorting your resources against those area can you truly drive sustained profitable growth. Authors Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney present a practical, 7-step approach for growing your business by cutting back. Drawing on case studies that feature dozens of companies, from Kraft to Cisco to Hyatt, the authors present Focus7 - a clear, seven-step framework that can be used by global giants, small startups, and any business in between.

Nambisan, Satish and Mohanbir Sawhney. 2007. The Global Brain: Your roadmap for innovating faster and smarter in a networked world. Wharton School Publishing.

Companies can open up their innovation and partner with external networks in more than one way. The question for companies and managers, however, is: how do you know which approach would be most appropriate for your company? This book will help managers find an answer to this important question. It describes the seemingly complex landscape of network-centric innovation – one that is populated by inventor networks, customer networks, supplier and partner firm networks, and open source communities – and offers a roadmap for companies to chart their own path for launching innovation initiatives that involve diverse external networks and communities. Examples and case studies from a wide range of companies and industries – IBM, P&G, DuPont, 3M, Dial, Staples, Unilever, Sun Microsystems, Merck, Salesforce.com, Boeing, Linden Lab (Second Life), etc. – are used to provide practical insights that managers can apply. Written in a highly accessible manner, the book helps managers go beyond the hype and philosophical discussions of open innovation and open source communities and focus on the real practical challenges they are likely to face in championing and leading their companies in network-centric innovation.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Robert C. Wolcott. 2006. Thomson Financial: Building a Customer-Centric Firm. Case 5-405-753 (KEL237).

In December 1999, Thomson Financial (TF) began a radical transformation from 41 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 & Reuters). LEARNING OBJECTIV Understand: 1. Building the customer-centric firm; ‘Synchronizing’ marketing (branding and sales), organizational, and technological infrastructure to focus on customer segments rather than products. 2. Making transformative, long-term investments under difficult circumstances. 3. Coordinating business, organization and technology strategies throughout a long-term transformation process.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ben Cooley, Jeff Crouse, James Dougan, John Johnson, Kumar Venkataraman and Shun Zhang. 2006. Rand McNally: Navigating the Wireless Landscape. Case 5-104-038 (KEL103).

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. Yet, the opportunities for Rand McNally weren’t obvious, and the pace at which wireless technology would disrupt its traditional business was also unclear. Chris was considering three opportunities: syndicate Rand McNally’s brand and mapping content to popular Web sites, become a provider of value-added services to businesses, or focus on automobile manufacturers and try to forge relationships for providing in-car mapping services. What kind of technology, organizational, and sales force restructuring would be required to align Rand McNally’s organization with the new environment? Should Rand McNally jump aggressively into the wireless business, or should it take a “wait-and-watch” approach?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Lisa Damkroger, Greg McGuirk, Julie Milbratz and John Rountree. 2006. Illinois Superconductor: Forecasting Demand For Superconducting Filters. Case 5-104-033 (KEL096).

Illinois Superconductor Corporation was a technology startup that 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. The company had also commissioned a research firm to develop a model-based forecast. The model-based forecast used diffusion modeling, analogy-based forecasting and conjoint analysis to create a forecast that incorporated customer preferences, diffusion effects, and competitive dynamics. Students are asked to use the data to generate a model-based forecast, and to reconcile the model-based forecast with the manager’s forecast. The case requires sophisticated spreadsheet modeling, and the application of advanced forecasting techniques.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, John Miniati, Patrick (Junsoo) Kim and Pallavi Goodman. 2014. Motorola's Droid 2: The Product Manager’s Dilemma. Case 5-313-510 (KEL772).

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. It wasn't happy with the mechanical camera button on the Droid 2 (citing customer feedback) and wanted it to be changed to a software button like the iPhone's. This request immediately placed Motorola in the proverbial horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, it couldn't brush away the request of its biggest and most important partner. On the other hand, changing the camera button now would mean delaying the Droid 2's entry into the market. Should the Droid 2 team remove the camera's hardware button in favor of a software button per Verizon's request, or not?

John Smith, the product manager, leads the cross-functional Droid 2 team. The case setting is an emergency "war room" meeting to address this critical issue, just weeks prior to launch. John's objective is to obtain the salient facts and opinions of team members quickly so he can make an informed recommendation to his boss by the end of the day. He is concerned that this last-minute request for a design change will not only threaten to delay the launch, which would have significant financial implications, but could potentially create deep fissures in a hitherto effective team that had been running like a well-oiled machine.

The case puts students in a situation that simulates a real-world discussion and allows them to experience what it is like, as a product manager, to orchestrate a meeting with cross-functional teams that have conflicting priorities and agendas. It illustrates the challenges a product manager faces while striving to make important decisions with little or no direct authority over the various teams.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ashuma Ahluwalia, Yuliya Gab, Kevin Gardiner, Alan Huang, Amit Patel and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (A). Case 5-111-011(A) (KEL654).

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’s challenge was to determine the best tactics that could successfully connect with this audience.

The (A) case describes Microsoft’s dilemma and briefly addresses what college students mostly care about: managing homework, creating great-looking schoolwork, preparing for the workplace, and collaborating with friends and classmates. It also provides competitive information, chiefly Google’s increasing presence in universities and its focus on the higher education market and the growing influence of Facebook among students and its evolution into a productivity tool.
 
The (B) case describes the qualitative research tools that Microsoft used to get a better understanding of college students: day diaries using Twitter, technology diaries using the Internet and smartphones, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with students.

The case helps students understand the value of ethnographic and qualitative research techniques, draw inferences from the data, and subsequently make recommendations. It illustrates how ethnographic and observational studies enrich research by generating deeper consumer insight than traditional methods.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Raj Malhotra and Kevin Agastein. PhotoWars. Case 5-104-037.

This strategy simulation game focuses on dynamic decision-making in rapidly evolving technology markets. It addresses the challenges that incumbent firms face in dealing with disruptive technologies, in the context of the imaging industry. PhotoMax is an incumbent that makes cameras and film, and it must contend with a rapid but uncertain migration of its customers from analog technology to digital imaging technology. Key decisions that it must make include marketing decisions (advertising, pricing, retail channels), R&D decisions (product development strategy and spending), and partnering decisions (extent of technology licensing and licensing fees). PhotoMax must compete against another incumbent called Kanawa for market share, share of channels as well as share of complementors who join its partner ecosystem. Students are required to manage PhotoMax’s business over 20 quarters (five years) under 8 different user-selectable scenarios that vary the aggressiveness of the competitor, strength of network effects, and pace of demand change. The simulation provides a rich and challenging environment within which students can appreciate the interconnectedness of strategic decisions across functional areas as well as across time.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and John Miniati. 2015. TabletTeach: Opportunity Analysis for a New Educational Technology Product. Case 5-314-500 (KEL900).

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. Based on his first-hand experience and research, Russo knew there was a significant opportunity for a company that brought to market a tablet-enabled learning solution focusing on grades K–8, which made learning Common Core math and/or language arts fun for every student and engagingly simple for all teachers.

This case provides an interesting example of something typically hard to teach: transitioning from the fuzzy front end of a market opportunity analysis to a specific product opportunity. The case bounds the problem by outlining four potential product concepts, which students will then evaluate and rank using their own sets of criteria.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Edward Arnstein, Paul Leinwand, Craig Michaels, Michael Nelson and Beth Winson. 2004. Career Central Corporation: Building Critical Mass. Case 5-104-030 (KEL093).

Jacob Matthews, chief strategy officer for Career Central Corporation, 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. But how could he structure such partnerships without compromising the confidentiality of his candidates? How could he minimize the risk involved in trusting a third party with the company’s valuable database of employees? What was the value proposition that CEC offered its clients who currently used its competitors both online and offline? Refining the marketing message, structuring strategic partnerships, and consistently delivering on its promise were the issues that CEC had to address to grow its business.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Kent Grayson. 2009. Ontela PicDeck (B): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Case 5-309-505(B) (KEL451).

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. It must also consider the value proposition of the PicDeck service for wireless carriers (its direct customers), who need to be convinced that the service will lead to higher monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) and/or increased subscriber loyalty. Part A of the case provides qualitative information on customer personae that represent different customer segments. Students are asked to develop a targeting and positioning strategy based on this qualitative information. Part B provides quantitative data on customer preferences that can be used to identify response-based customer segments, as well as demographic and media habits information that can be used to profile the segments. Students are asked to revise their recommendations based on the additional quantitative data.

Spanish translation available.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Shankar Balakrishnan, Maryam Balali, Brit Gould, Steven Stark and Larry Xu. 2007. Siemens Medical Solutions: Creating a Customer-Focused Organization for Solutions Marketing. Case 5-107-011 (KEL409).

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.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Sachin Waikar. 2009. It's a New Day: Microsoft’s Office 2007 Launch Campaign. Case 5-409-756 (KEL533).

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. The Office 2007 marketing team has come up with a two-step campaign strategy that sought to first create awareness and intrigue using traditional media, followed by the heavy use of digital media to get consumer to experience the product through different types of “digital experiences.” The team needs to decide how much of its advertising spending it should shift from traditional media to digital media, how to design the most effective digital experiences and how to measure the effectiveness of digital experiences. The case is set at a time when digital media were emerging as a promising way to engage consumers more deeply with brands and products, but marketers were uncertain about the relative effectiveness of different digital marketing tactics and the optimal mix of traditional versus digital marketing channels for different product, market and campaign contexts.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ashuma Ahluwalia, Yuliya Gab, Kevin Gardiner, Alan Huang, Amit Patel and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (B). Case 5-111-011(B) (KEL655).

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’s challenge was to determine the best tactics that could successfully connect with this audience.

The (A) case describes Microsoft’s dilemma and briefly addresses what college students mostly care about: managing homework, creating great-looking schoolwork, preparing for the workplace, and collaborating with friends and classmates. It also provides competitive information, chiefly Google’s increasing presence in universities and its focus on the higher education market and the growing influence of Facebook among students and its evolution into a productivity tool.

The (B) case describes the qualitative research tools that Microsoft used to get a better understanding of college students: day diaries using Twitter, technology diaries using the Internet and smartphones, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with students.

The case helps students understand the value of ethnographic and qualitative research techniques, draw inferences from the data, and subsequently make recommendations. It illustrates how ethnographic and observational studies enrich research by generating deeper consumer insight than traditional methods.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Pallavi Goodman. 2016. OnePlus: Crossing the Chasm in the Smartphone Market. Case 5-216-253 (KEL981).

In early 2016, after the success of its first two smartphones, the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2, China-based startup smartphone maker OnePlus was deciding how to build on its early success and grow into a global contender in the highly competitive smartphone market. Technology enthusiasts and geeks had flocked to purchase the first two generations of its smartphones and expectations were high for the company's next product. The company's founders, Pete Lau and Carl Pei, faced the challenge of broadening the appeal of OnePlus to address the mainstream market without alienating its core customer base.

"Crossing the chasm" from the early adopters to the mainstream market involved addressing three interrelated questions: First, what segments should OnePlus target as it sought to grow beyond its loyal fan base? Second, what value proposition and positioning strategy should it adopt to appeal to these target customers? Finally, what distribution and marketing communications strategy should it employ to make best use of its limited financial resources? A key consideration in formulating its strategy was to stay true to the company's culture and mission of "Never Settle" by charting its own course and not emulating the strategies of much larger competitors like Apple, Samsung, LG, and HTC.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Jon Nathanson, Oded Perry, Chad Smith, Sripad Sriram, James Tsai and Pallavi Goodman. 2012. Modu: Optimizing the Product Line. Case 5-112-008 (KEL651).

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. The question now was which of the eight jackets to develop and what factors should be considered in making that decision. The case is about how to estimate optimal product-line extensions after accounting for experience curve and cannibalization effects of products that share similar features, cost, and price. This will require quantitative analysis that estimates the effect of the experience curve and cannibalization on cost, revenues, and ultimately, profit. The issue is how to optimize profits by choosing an ideal set of products.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Brian Buenneke, Lisa Jackson, Nancy Kulick, Evan Norton, Erica Post and Ran Rotem. 2006. Microsoft Corporation: Branding and Positioning .NET. Case 5-104-034 (KEL097).

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. This case highlights the challenges of branding and positioning a complex technology offering. The first challenge Microsoft faced was to develop a common definition of .NET, which had been in flux over the prior two years. The second challenge Microsoft had to consider was the choice between an umbrella branding strategy, a sub-branding strategy and an ingredient branding strategy. The third challenge was to create a value proposition that would appeal to three very different target audiences: business decision makers, IT professionals, and developers.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Sachin Waikar, Sean Alpert, Gerardo Cardone, Ryan Mullin, Barnaby Nardella, Edward Sim and Hsin-Ting Huang. 2012. Amazon’s Kindle: Crossing the Chasm. Case 5-111-009.

Amazon had achieved success far beyond its expectations when it launched the Kindle e-Reader in November 2007. The marketing team at Amazon had adopted a “launch and learn” approach rather than target specific markets with this digital device on the cutting edge of technology. Now, six months later, it faced a more complex decision as it prepared to launch the second-generation Kindle. The team at Amazon felt that it must focus and choose its target market more precisely this time in order to position the product for long-term success. The choice of the target market would dictate not only the design and features of the device but would also influence the content, capabilities, and go-to-market strategy, including its partners, channels, and promotional tactics. The Kindle team had identified three promising market opportunities for the device—college students, mobile business professionals, and avid readers—but gearing the product toward a specific segment would likely diminish its appeal to others. Now the team had to decide which of the target markets represented the best opportunity for the Kindle.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Rosalie Chin, Jennifer Ord, Noam Ragins, Kris Rich and Liza Wintroub. 2004. Educational Technology Corporation: Crossing the Chasm. Case 5-104-032 (KEL095).

Todd Wilson, manager of partner development at Educational Technology Corporation (ETC), needed to determine the targeting, positioning, and selling strategy for its innovative Interactive Mathematics software for the college market. He needed to decide what types of colleges to target, and what stakeholders to focus on within the institution. His task is complicated by the unclear objectives of non-profit institutions and by the differing motivations of teachers, students, and college administrators in adopting software-based learning technology. The case highlights the difficulties in innovation adoption within large non-profit institutions, and the challenges in marketing to institutions with complex decision-making processes, multiple influencers, and conflicting motivations.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2004. Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation: Growth Strategies for 1995. Case 5-104-029 (KEL092).

Despite its clear leadership position, Blockbuster was running out of areas of high population density where new stores could be opened. 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. In this case of growing a company by brand extension, Hilmer analyzes which option would let Blockbuster leverage its existing brand the most. How do the two market segments compare in terms of size, existing and future competition, investment requirements and returns and Blockbuster’s ability to grow and defend itself in the segment?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Benjamin Hill, John Miller, Peter Nylund, West Robbins, Richard Wharton and Severine Borut-Zaslavoglou. 2006. MRT Micro: The CardioScope. Case 5-104-036 (KEL099).

Jan Bakke, founder and chairman of Norway based MRT was planning 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?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Paolo Cuomo, Ariel Hasson, Kevin Loftus, Angela Petros and Derek Yung. 2004. Trilogy Corporation: Customer Value-Based Pricing. Case 5-104-041 (KEL106).

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 organization, 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. He also had to address several adoption barriers that were preventing customers from embracing the gain-sharing pricing approach.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Sean Alexis, Zack Gund, Lee Jacobek, Ted Kasten, Doug Kilponen and Andrew Malkin. 2006. TiVo: Changing the Face of Television. Case 5-104-040 (KEL105).

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. As television moved from a network-based model to interactive TV, 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 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?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Joseph R. Owens and Pallavi Goodman. 2014. Kindle Fire: Amazon's Heated Battle for the Tablet Market. Case 5-413-751 (KEL770).

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. Amazon sought to combine platform assets to create an end-to-end experience that would let users find a “sweet spot” in the mix of features and services. This strategy involved critical decisions such as selecting a customer segment to target and a positioning for the new product, dubbed the Kindle Fire, as the tablet market rapidly evolved. The Kindle Fire was designed to put the full Amazon experience right into the laps of customers, and Bezos was betting that his customers would see the Kindle Fire as the physical manifestation of all things Amazon. To achieve this, Amazon was willing to heavily subsidize the Kindle Fire hardware device. The key assumption was that the superior end-to-end experience Amazon had carefully created would lead to incremental purchases of content as well as physical products and services, and the margins thus gained would outweigh the hardware subsidy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Michael Biddlecom, Robert Day, Patricia Franke, John Lee-Tin, Robert Leonard and Brian Poger. 2004. Rockwell Automation: The Channel Challenge. Case 5-104-039 (KEL163).

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 multi-channel 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. An effort by Allen-Bradley and other manufacturers to create an industry-wide electronic sourcing consortium called SourceAlliance.com had failed. Now, the company had to choose between redesigning its traditional channel by creating a virtual network of local distributors, striking an alliance with a national distributor, or withdrawing from the MRO market. It had to contend with difficult channel conflict issues in choosing a channel strategy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Bernadine Ai-Kuo, Ronald Graves, Pierre Laurent and Peter Thompson. 2004. Motorola Wireless Data Group: The Envoy. Case 5-104-035 (KEL098).

Elizabeth Sullivan, director of marketing for Motorola’s Wireless Data Group, was formulating the marketing strategy for their new wireless communicator, the Envoy. Early sales results for the Envoy as well as its competitors in the nascent Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) industry had been disappointing, and Sullivan was under pressure to change this situation. How should Motorola segment the market for wireless communications? What market segments should Motorola target with the Envoy? How should it position the Envoy? What should be the marketing mix for the Envoy? Sullivan’s short-term decisions had to consider the fact that she had limited control over changing the basic product, which was designed before she took charge of marketing the Envoy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Kent Grayson. 2009. Ontela PicDeck (A): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Case 5-309-505(A) (KEL450).

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. It must also consider the value proposition of the PicDeck service for wireless carriers (its direct customers), who need to be convinced that the service will lead to higher monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) and/or increased subscriber loyalty. Part A of the case provides qualitative information on customer personae that represent different customer segments. Students are asked to develop a targeting and positioning strategy based on this qualitative information. Part B provides quantitative data on customer preferences that can be used to identify response-based customer segments, as well as demographic and media habits information that can be used to profile the segments. Students are asked to revise their recommendations based on the additional quantitative data.

Spanish translation available.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2011. Cisco Systems: Launching the ASR 1000 Series Router Using Social Media Marketing. Case 5-111-008 (KEL579).

This 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. The case discusses Cisco’s bold plan to launch the ASR 1000 Series “virtually, visually, and virally” and the digital tactics employed by the Cisco Systems marketing team to accomplish this ambitious goal. Business marketers normally adopt a more serious and traditional approach to marketing its products but in this case Cisco had decided to buck that trend by exploring digital tools and social gaming avenues which its target client – the technical community – were increasingly frequenting. Cisco’s challenge lay in whether this new approach and resultant value proposition would resonate with its technical audience and give the ASR 1000 Router the kind of publicity it needed to have. The case is set at a time when social media was burgeoning as a promising way to engage consumers more deeply with brands and products, but marketers were still experimenting with the tools and tactics of social media for marketing.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Aarti Kumar, Hilary Meyer, Coby Neuenschwander, Sang' ona Oriedo, Mallika Pradhan, Garima Sethi and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Lowe’s Companies, Inc.: Optimizing the Marketing Communications Mix. Case 5-111-010 (KEL563).

Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement retailer in the world, had launched an ambitious new program in early 2009 and entered the arena of kitchen remodeling service providers. With this decision, Lowe’s was making a concerted effort to move beyond its traditional DIY customer base and capture the attention of the do-it for-me customer. Lowe’s chief competitors were the market leader Home Depot, Sears, Menards, and IKEA along with an assortment of smaller independent service contractors. The case describes the challenges Lowe’s faced as it embarked on this transition to the services sector. It illustrates how consumer insights lead to customer experience mapping which then forms the basis of an integrated marketing communications program. It also illustrates how to build a quantitative framework for allocating marketing investments across the marcomm mix. The Lowe’s marketing team had the task of creating the optimal marketing communication mix and successfully engaging those consumers interested in kitchen remodeling.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Pallavi Goodman and Ori Broit. 2016. WMS: Revenue Model Innovation for Gaming Solutions. Case 5-215-254 (KEL951).

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. Complicating this decision were several factors that would have to be kept in mind. Americans' love of gaming had led to a mushrooming of casinos, which meant increased competition for casino dollars. Yet the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath had weakened demand for casinos. In addition, casinos, depending on the type of customers they attracted, differed in their appetite for innovation and maintenance of their slot machines. Students will step into the shoes of Dayna Stone as she undertakes the task of weighing these factors and selecting the right revenue model.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Gianmario Verona and Emanuela Prandelli. 2005. Collaborating to Create: The Internet as a Platform for Customer Engagement in Product Innovation. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 19(4): 4-17.

In the networked world, firms are recognizing the power of the Internet as a platform for co-creating value with customers. A key aspect of co-creation is collaborative innovation engaging customers in the firm's product innovation process. We focus on how firms can use the Internet as an enabling platform for collaborative product innovation. We outline key differentiating capabilities of the Internet as a platform for customer engagement, including interactivity, enhanced reach, persistence, speed and flexibility, and suggest that firms can use these capabilities to engage customers in collaborative product innovation through a variety of Internet-based mechanisms. We discuss how these Internet-based mechanisms can enhance collaborative innovation at different stages of the New Product Development (NPD) process and based on different types of customer involvement. We present two detailed exploratory case studies to illustrate how leading firms are engaging in collaborative innovation with customers - Ducati from the automotive industry and Eli Lilly from the pharmaceutical industry. We derive implications for managerial practice and research on collaborative innovation.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Emanuela Prandelli and Gianmario Verona. 2003. The Power of Innomediation. MIT Sloan Management Review. 44(2): 77-82.

In recent years, many companies have learned to use the Internet as a powerful platform for collaborating directly with customers on innovation. But direct interactions facilitated by customer advisory panels, online communities and product-design tool kits have limitations. They don't always allow companies to reach the right customers at the right time and in the right context. Thus, to fully exploit the Internet as an enabler of innovation, companies need to complement their direct channels of customer interaction by using third parties that can help them bridge gaps in customer knowledge. The authors call this process of indirect, or mediated, innovation innomediation and the third-party actors at the center of it innomediaries. In their research, the authors identified three distinct types of innomediary and observed how each one can help companies acquire different forms of customer knowledge. Using case studies, they suggest ways in which companies can begin to think about exploiting the power of these emerging intermediaries. For businesses that learn to use customer knowledge from both direct and indirect sources, the Internet holds the key to a multichannel innovation strategy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Emanuela Prandelli. 2001. Communities of Creation: Managing Distributed Innovation in Turbulent Markets. California Management Review. 42(4): 24-54.

A new model for managing distributed innovation, the community of creation is a governance mechanism for managing innovation that lies between the hierarchy- based (closed) mechanism and the market-based (open) mechanism for innovation management. The community-centric model shifts the locus of innovation beyond the boundaries of the firm, to a community of individuals and firms that collaborate to create joint intellectual property. A community of creation requires an identified sponsor, a set of ground rules for participation, and a system for managing intellectual property rights. The community of creation model allows innovation to proceed in a complex environment by striking a balance between order and chaos. This article presents detailed case studies from the computer industry to highlight the differences among the different approaches to innovation management. It also discusses the opportunities and the unresolved issues of the community of creation model for practitioners as well as for academics.

Eliashberg, Jehoshua, Jedid-Jah Jonker, Mohanbir Sawhney and Berend Weirenga. 2000. MOVIEMOD: An Implementable Decision-Support System for Prerelease Market Evaluation of Motion Pictures. Marketing Science. 19(3): 226-243.

In spite of the high financial stakes involved in marketing new motion pictures, marketing science models have not been applied to the prerelease market evaluation of motion pictures. The motion picture industry poses some unique challenges. For example, the consumer adoption process for movies is very sensitive to word-of-mouth interactions, which are difficult to measure and predict before the movie has been released. In this article, we undertake the challenge to develop and implement MOVIEMOD, a prerelease market evaluation model for the motion picture industry. MOVIEMOD is designed to generate box-office forecasts and to support marketing decisions for a new movie after the movie has been produced (or when it is available in a rough cut) but before it has been released. Unlike other forecasting models for motion pictures, the calibration of MOVIEMOD does not require any actual sales data. Also, the data collection time for a product with a limited lifetime such as a movie should not take too long. For MOVIEMOD it takes only three hours in a "consumer clinic" to collect the data needed for the prediction of box-office sales and the evaluation of alternative marketing plans. The model is based on a behavioral representation of the consumer adoption process for movies as a macroflow process. The heart of MOVIEMOD is an interactive Markov chain model describing the macro-flow process. According to this model, at any point in time with respect to the movie under study, a consumer can be found in one of the following behavioral states: undecided, considerer, rejecter, positive spreader, negative spreader, and inactive. The progression of consumers through the behavioral states depends on a set of movie-specific factors that are related to the marketing mix, as well as on a set of more general behavioral factors that characterize the movie-going behavior in the population of interest. This interactive Markov chain model allows us to account for word-of-mouth interactions among potential adopters and several types of word-of-mouth spreaders in the population. Marketing variables that influence the transitions among the states are movie theme acceptability, promotion strategy, distribution strategy, and the movie experience. The model is calibrated in a consumer clinic experiment. Respondents fill out a questionnaire with general items related to their movie-going and movie communication behavior, they are exposed to different sets of information stimuli, they are actually shown the movie, and finally, they fill outpostmovie evaluations, including word-of-mouth intentions.These measures are used to estimate the word-of-mouth parameters and other behavioral factors, as well as the movie-specific parameters of the model. MOVIEMOD produces forecasts of the awareness, adoption intention, and cumulative penetration for a new movie within the population of interest for a given base marketing plan. It also provides diagnostic information on the likely impact of alternative marketing plans on the commercial performance of a new movie. We describe two applications of MOVIEMOD: One is a pilot study conducted without studio cooperation in the United States, and the other is a full-fledged implementation conducted with cooperation of the movie's distributor and exhibitor in the Netherlands. The implementations suggest that MOVIEMOD produces reasonably accurate forecasts of box-office performance. More importantly, the model offers the opportunity to simulate the effects of alternative marketing plans. In the Dutch application, the effects of extra advertising, extra magazine articles, extra TV commercials, and higher trailer intensity (compared to the base marketing plan of the distributor) were analyzed. We demonstrate the value of these decision-support capabilities of MOVIEMOD in assisting managers to identify a final plan that resulted in an almost 50% increase in the test movie's revenue performance, compared to the marketing plan initially contemplated. Management implemented this recommended plan, which resulted in box-office sales that were within 5% of the MOVIEMOD prediction. MOVIEMOD was also tested against several benchmark models, and its prediction was better in all cases. An evaluation of MOVIEMOD jointly by the Dutch exhibitor and the distributor showed that both parties were positive about and appreciated its performance as a decision-support tool. In particular, the distributor, who has more stakes in the domestic performance of its movies, showed a great interest in using MOVIEMOD for subsequent evaluations of new movies prior to their release. Based on such evaluations and the initial validation results, MOVIEMOD can fruitfully (and inexpensively) be used to provide researchers and managers with a deeper understanding of the factors that drive audience response to new motion pictures, and it can be instrumental in developing other decision-support systems that can improve the odds of commercial success of new experiential products.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2006. Creating and Capturing Value in Distributed Innovation: Towards a Contingent Model for Solving The Paradox of Creative Destruction.

The emergence of open standards and the consequent increase in the fragmentation of knowledge flows which are relevant for most of the industries of modern economies has changed the conceptual and practical interpretation of the management of innovation. By building on existing literature on distributed innovation and with a detailed evidence from a set of enlightening case studies, in this paper we gain two results. We first develop a taxonomy of four emerging modes of value creation and capture in the context of distributed innovation. We then analytically discuss the alternative strategic and organizational approaches through two sets of contingencies: (a) the key variables that guide firms to select the optimal model for creating value through distributed innovation; (b) the systems of incentives that help firms to extract value from the different models. In so doing we provide managerial guidance for value creation and capture in the networked world and derive implications for future research on these topics.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Sanjay Khosla. 2014. Fewer. Bigger, Bolder: From Mindless Expansion to Focused Growth. Penguin Books.

Despite the relentless pressure for growth experienced by most managers, some kinds of revenue growth can be toxic for your business. The best way to promote growth is not through undisciplined expansion. It's through concentrated focus. Pursuing every revenue dollar that comes your way will limit the funds and energy you devote to the initiatives that matter. Only by narrowing in on a few key areas where you can win and distorting your resources against those area can you truly drive sustained profitable growth. Authors Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney present a practical, 7-step approach for growing your business by cutting back. Drawing on case studies that feature dozens of companies, from Kraft to Cisco to Hyatt, the authors present Focus7 - a clear, seven-step framework that can be used by global giants, small startups, and any business in between.

Nambisan, Satish and Mohanbir Sawhney. 2007. The Global Brain: Your roadmap for innovating faster and smarter in a networked world. Wharton School Publishing.

Companies can open up their innovation and partner with external networks in more than one way. The question for companies and managers, however, is: how do you know which approach would be most appropriate for your company? This book will help managers find an answer to this important question. It describes the seemingly complex landscape of network-centric innovation – one that is populated by inventor networks, customer networks, supplier and partner firm networks, and open source communities – and offers a roadmap for companies to chart their own path for launching innovation initiatives that involve diverse external networks and communities. Examples and case studies from a wide range of companies and industries – IBM, P&G, DuPont, 3M, Dial, Staples, Unilever, Sun Microsystems, Merck, Salesforce.com, Boeing, Linden Lab (Second Life), etc. – are used to provide practical insights that managers can apply. Written in a highly accessible manner, the book helps managers go beyond the hype and philosophical discussions of open innovation and open source communities and focus on the real practical challenges they are likely to face in championing and leading their companies in network-centric innovation.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Robert C. Wolcott. 2006. Thomson Financial: Building a Customer-Centric Firm. Case 5-405-753 (KEL237).

In December 1999, Thomson Financial (TF) began a radical transformation from 41 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 & Reuters). LEARNING OBJECTIV Understand: 1. Building the customer-centric firm; ‘Synchronizing’ marketing (branding and sales), organizational, and technological infrastructure to focus on customer segments rather than products. 2. Making transformative, long-term investments under difficult circumstances. 3. Coordinating business, organization and technology strategies throughout a long-term transformation process.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ben Cooley, Jeff Crouse, James Dougan, John Johnson, Kumar Venkataraman and Shun Zhang. 2006. Rand McNally: Navigating the Wireless Landscape. Case 5-104-038 (KEL103).

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. Yet, the opportunities for Rand McNally weren’t obvious, and the pace at which wireless technology would disrupt its traditional business was also unclear. Chris was considering three opportunities: syndicate Rand McNally’s brand and mapping content to popular Web sites, become a provider of value-added services to businesses, or focus on automobile manufacturers and try to forge relationships for providing in-car mapping services. What kind of technology, organizational, and sales force restructuring would be required to align Rand McNally’s organization with the new environment? Should Rand McNally jump aggressively into the wireless business, or should it take a “wait-and-watch” approach?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Lisa Damkroger, Greg McGuirk, Julie Milbratz and John Rountree. 2006. Illinois Superconductor: Forecasting Demand For Superconducting Filters. Case 5-104-033 (KEL096).

Illinois Superconductor Corporation was a technology startup that 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. The company had also commissioned a research firm to develop a model-based forecast. The model-based forecast used diffusion modeling, analogy-based forecasting and conjoint analysis to create a forecast that incorporated customer preferences, diffusion effects, and competitive dynamics. Students are asked to use the data to generate a model-based forecast, and to reconcile the model-based forecast with the manager’s forecast. The case requires sophisticated spreadsheet modeling, and the application of advanced forecasting techniques.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, John Miniati, Patrick (Junsoo) Kim and Pallavi Goodman. 2014. Motorola's Droid 2: The Product Manager’s Dilemma. Case 5-313-510 (KEL772).

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. It wasn't happy with the mechanical camera button on the Droid 2 (citing customer feedback) and wanted it to be changed to a software button like the iPhone's. This request immediately placed Motorola in the proverbial horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, it couldn't brush away the request of its biggest and most important partner. On the other hand, changing the camera button now would mean delaying the Droid 2's entry into the market. Should the Droid 2 team remove the camera's hardware button in favor of a software button per Verizon's request, or not?

John Smith, the product manager, leads the cross-functional Droid 2 team. The case setting is an emergency "war room" meeting to address this critical issue, just weeks prior to launch. John's objective is to obtain the salient facts and opinions of team members quickly so he can make an informed recommendation to his boss by the end of the day. He is concerned that this last-minute request for a design change will not only threaten to delay the launch, which would have significant financial implications, but could potentially create deep fissures in a hitherto effective team that had been running like a well-oiled machine.

The case puts students in a situation that simulates a real-world discussion and allows them to experience what it is like, as a product manager, to orchestrate a meeting with cross-functional teams that have conflicting priorities and agendas. It illustrates the challenges a product manager faces while striving to make important decisions with little or no direct authority over the various teams.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ashuma Ahluwalia, Yuliya Gab, Kevin Gardiner, Alan Huang, Amit Patel and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (A). Case 5-111-011(A) (KEL654).

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’s challenge was to determine the best tactics that could successfully connect with this audience.

The (A) case describes Microsoft’s dilemma and briefly addresses what college students mostly care about: managing homework, creating great-looking schoolwork, preparing for the workplace, and collaborating with friends and classmates. It also provides competitive information, chiefly Google’s increasing presence in universities and its focus on the higher education market and the growing influence of Facebook among students and its evolution into a productivity tool.
 
The (B) case describes the qualitative research tools that Microsoft used to get a better understanding of college students: day diaries using Twitter, technology diaries using the Internet and smartphones, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with students.

The case helps students understand the value of ethnographic and qualitative research techniques, draw inferences from the data, and subsequently make recommendations. It illustrates how ethnographic and observational studies enrich research by generating deeper consumer insight than traditional methods.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Raj Malhotra and Kevin Agastein. PhotoWars. Case 5-104-037.

This strategy simulation game focuses on dynamic decision-making in rapidly evolving technology markets. It addresses the challenges that incumbent firms face in dealing with disruptive technologies, in the context of the imaging industry. PhotoMax is an incumbent that makes cameras and film, and it must contend with a rapid but uncertain migration of its customers from analog technology to digital imaging technology. Key decisions that it must make include marketing decisions (advertising, pricing, retail channels), R&D decisions (product development strategy and spending), and partnering decisions (extent of technology licensing and licensing fees). PhotoMax must compete against another incumbent called Kanawa for market share, share of channels as well as share of complementors who join its partner ecosystem. Students are required to manage PhotoMax’s business over 20 quarters (five years) under 8 different user-selectable scenarios that vary the aggressiveness of the competitor, strength of network effects, and pace of demand change. The simulation provides a rich and challenging environment within which students can appreciate the interconnectedness of strategic decisions across functional areas as well as across time.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and John Miniati. 2015. TabletTeach: Opportunity Analysis for a New Educational Technology Product. Case 5-314-500 (KEL900).

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. Based on his first-hand experience and research, Russo knew there was a significant opportunity for a company that brought to market a tablet-enabled learning solution focusing on grades K–8, which made learning Common Core math and/or language arts fun for every student and engagingly simple for all teachers.

This case provides an interesting example of something typically hard to teach: transitioning from the fuzzy front end of a market opportunity analysis to a specific product opportunity. The case bounds the problem by outlining four potential product concepts, which students will then evaluate and rank using their own sets of criteria.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Edward Arnstein, Paul Leinwand, Craig Michaels, Michael Nelson and Beth Winson. 2004. Career Central Corporation: Building Critical Mass. Case 5-104-030 (KEL093).

Jacob Matthews, chief strategy officer for Career Central Corporation, 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. But how could he structure such partnerships without compromising the confidentiality of his candidates? How could he minimize the risk involved in trusting a third party with the company’s valuable database of employees? What was the value proposition that CEC offered its clients who currently used its competitors both online and offline? Refining the marketing message, structuring strategic partnerships, and consistently delivering on its promise were the issues that CEC had to address to grow its business.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Kent Grayson. 2009. Ontela PicDeck (B): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Case 5-309-505(B) (KEL451).

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. It must also consider the value proposition of the PicDeck service for wireless carriers (its direct customers), who need to be convinced that the service will lead to higher monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) and/or increased subscriber loyalty. Part A of the case provides qualitative information on customer personae that represent different customer segments. Students are asked to develop a targeting and positioning strategy based on this qualitative information. Part B provides quantitative data on customer preferences that can be used to identify response-based customer segments, as well as demographic and media habits information that can be used to profile the segments. Students are asked to revise their recommendations based on the additional quantitative data.

Spanish translation available.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Shankar Balakrishnan, Maryam Balali, Brit Gould, Steven Stark and Larry Xu. 2007. Siemens Medical Solutions: Creating a Customer-Focused Organization for Solutions Marketing. Case 5-107-011 (KEL409).

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.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Sachin Waikar. 2009. It's a New Day: Microsoft’s Office 2007 Launch Campaign. Case 5-409-756 (KEL533).

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. The Office 2007 marketing team has come up with a two-step campaign strategy that sought to first create awareness and intrigue using traditional media, followed by the heavy use of digital media to get consumer to experience the product through different types of “digital experiences.” The team needs to decide how much of its advertising spending it should shift from traditional media to digital media, how to design the most effective digital experiences and how to measure the effectiveness of digital experiences. The case is set at a time when digital media were emerging as a promising way to engage consumers more deeply with brands and products, but marketers were uncertain about the relative effectiveness of different digital marketing tactics and the optimal mix of traditional versus digital marketing channels for different product, market and campaign contexts.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ashuma Ahluwalia, Yuliya Gab, Kevin Gardiner, Alan Huang, Amit Patel and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (B). Case 5-111-011(B) (KEL655).

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’s challenge was to determine the best tactics that could successfully connect with this audience.

The (A) case describes Microsoft’s dilemma and briefly addresses what college students mostly care about: managing homework, creating great-looking schoolwork, preparing for the workplace, and collaborating with friends and classmates. It also provides competitive information, chiefly Google’s increasing presence in universities and its focus on the higher education market and the growing influence of Facebook among students and its evolution into a productivity tool.

The (B) case describes the qualitative research tools that Microsoft used to get a better understanding of college students: day diaries using Twitter, technology diaries using the Internet and smartphones, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with students.

The case helps students understand the value of ethnographic and qualitative research techniques, draw inferences from the data, and subsequently make recommendations. It illustrates how ethnographic and observational studies enrich research by generating deeper consumer insight than traditional methods.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Pallavi Goodman. 2016. OnePlus: Crossing the Chasm in the Smartphone Market. Case 5-216-253 (KEL981).

In early 2016, after the success of its first two smartphones, the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2, China-based startup smartphone maker OnePlus was deciding how to build on its early success and grow into a global contender in the highly competitive smartphone market. Technology enthusiasts and geeks had flocked to purchase the first two generations of its smartphones and expectations were high for the company's next product. The company's founders, Pete Lau and Carl Pei, faced the challenge of broadening the appeal of OnePlus to address the mainstream market without alienating its core customer base.

"Crossing the chasm" from the early adopters to the mainstream market involved addressing three interrelated questions: First, what segments should OnePlus target as it sought to grow beyond its loyal fan base? Second, what value proposition and positioning strategy should it adopt to appeal to these target customers? Finally, what distribution and marketing communications strategy should it employ to make best use of its limited financial resources? A key consideration in formulating its strategy was to stay true to the company's culture and mission of "Never Settle" by charting its own course and not emulating the strategies of much larger competitors like Apple, Samsung, LG, and HTC.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Jon Nathanson, Oded Perry, Chad Smith, Sripad Sriram, James Tsai and Pallavi Goodman. 2012. Modu: Optimizing the Product Line. Case 5-112-008 (KEL651).

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. The question now was which of the eight jackets to develop and what factors should be considered in making that decision. The case is about how to estimate optimal product-line extensions after accounting for experience curve and cannibalization effects of products that share similar features, cost, and price. This will require quantitative analysis that estimates the effect of the experience curve and cannibalization on cost, revenues, and ultimately, profit. The issue is how to optimize profits by choosing an ideal set of products.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Brian Buenneke, Lisa Jackson, Nancy Kulick, Evan Norton, Erica Post and Ran Rotem. 2006. Microsoft Corporation: Branding and Positioning .NET. Case 5-104-034 (KEL097).

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. This case highlights the challenges of branding and positioning a complex technology offering. The first challenge Microsoft faced was to develop a common definition of .NET, which had been in flux over the prior two years. The second challenge Microsoft had to consider was the choice between an umbrella branding strategy, a sub-branding strategy and an ingredient branding strategy. The third challenge was to create a value proposition that would appeal to three very different target audiences: business decision makers, IT professionals, and developers.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Sachin Waikar, Sean Alpert, Gerardo Cardone, Ryan Mullin, Barnaby Nardella, Edward Sim and Hsin-Ting Huang. 2012. Amazon’s Kindle: Crossing the Chasm. Case 5-111-009.

Amazon had achieved success far beyond its expectations when it launched the Kindle e-Reader in November 2007. The marketing team at Amazon had adopted a “launch and learn” approach rather than target specific markets with this digital device on the cutting edge of technology. Now, six months later, it faced a more complex decision as it prepared to launch the second-generation Kindle. The team at Amazon felt that it must focus and choose its target market more precisely this time in order to position the product for long-term success. The choice of the target market would dictate not only the design and features of the device but would also influence the content, capabilities, and go-to-market strategy, including its partners, channels, and promotional tactics. The Kindle team had identified three promising market opportunities for the device—college students, mobile business professionals, and avid readers—but gearing the product toward a specific segment would likely diminish its appeal to others. Now the team had to decide which of the target markets represented the best opportunity for the Kindle.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Rosalie Chin, Jennifer Ord, Noam Ragins, Kris Rich and Liza Wintroub. 2004. Educational Technology Corporation: Crossing the Chasm. Case 5-104-032 (KEL095).

Todd Wilson, manager of partner development at Educational Technology Corporation (ETC), needed to determine the targeting, positioning, and selling strategy for its innovative Interactive Mathematics software for the college market. He needed to decide what types of colleges to target, and what stakeholders to focus on within the institution. His task is complicated by the unclear objectives of non-profit institutions and by the differing motivations of teachers, students, and college administrators in adopting software-based learning technology. The case highlights the difficulties in innovation adoption within large non-profit institutions, and the challenges in marketing to institutions with complex decision-making processes, multiple influencers, and conflicting motivations.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2004. Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation: Growth Strategies for 1995. Case 5-104-029 (KEL092).

Despite its clear leadership position, Blockbuster was running out of areas of high population density where new stores could be opened. 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. In this case of growing a company by brand extension, Hilmer analyzes which option would let Blockbuster leverage its existing brand the most. How do the two market segments compare in terms of size, existing and future competition, investment requirements and returns and Blockbuster’s ability to grow and defend itself in the segment?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Benjamin Hill, John Miller, Peter Nylund, West Robbins, Richard Wharton and Severine Borut-Zaslavoglou. 2006. MRT Micro: The CardioScope. Case 5-104-036 (KEL099).

Jan Bakke, founder and chairman of Norway based MRT was planning 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?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Paolo Cuomo, Ariel Hasson, Kevin Loftus, Angela Petros and Derek Yung. 2004. Trilogy Corporation: Customer Value-Based Pricing. Case 5-104-041 (KEL106).

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 organization, 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. He also had to address several adoption barriers that were preventing customers from embracing the gain-sharing pricing approach.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Sean Alexis, Zack Gund, Lee Jacobek, Ted Kasten, Doug Kilponen and Andrew Malkin. 2006. TiVo: Changing the Face of Television. Case 5-104-040 (KEL105).

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. As television moved from a network-based model to interactive TV, 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 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?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Joseph R. Owens and Pallavi Goodman. 2014. Kindle Fire: Amazon's Heated Battle for the Tablet Market. Case 5-413-751 (KEL770).

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. Amazon sought to combine platform assets to create an end-to-end experience that would let users find a “sweet spot” in the mix of features and services. This strategy involved critical decisions such as selecting a customer segment to target and a positioning for the new product, dubbed the Kindle Fire, as the tablet market rapidly evolved. The Kindle Fire was designed to put the full Amazon experience right into the laps of customers, and Bezos was betting that his customers would see the Kindle Fire as the physical manifestation of all things Amazon. To achieve this, Amazon was willing to heavily subsidize the Kindle Fire hardware device. The key assumption was that the superior end-to-end experience Amazon had carefully created would lead to incremental purchases of content as well as physical products and services, and the margins thus gained would outweigh the hardware subsidy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Michael Biddlecom, Robert Day, Patricia Franke, John Lee-Tin, Robert Leonard and Brian Poger. 2004. Rockwell Automation: The Channel Challenge. Case 5-104-039 (KEL163).

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 multi-channel 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. An effort by Allen-Bradley and other manufacturers to create an industry-wide electronic sourcing consortium called SourceAlliance.com had failed. Now, the company had to choose between redesigning its traditional channel by creating a virtual network of local distributors, striking an alliance with a national distributor, or withdrawing from the MRO market. It had to contend with difficult channel conflict issues in choosing a channel strategy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Bernadine Ai-Kuo, Ronald Graves, Pierre Laurent and Peter Thompson. 2004. Motorola Wireless Data Group: The Envoy. Case 5-104-035 (KEL098).

Elizabeth Sullivan, director of marketing for Motorola’s Wireless Data Group, was formulating the marketing strategy for their new wireless communicator, the Envoy. Early sales results for the Envoy as well as its competitors in the nascent Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) industry had been disappointing, and Sullivan was under pressure to change this situation. How should Motorola segment the market for wireless communications? What market segments should Motorola target with the Envoy? How should it position the Envoy? What should be the marketing mix for the Envoy? Sullivan’s short-term decisions had to consider the fact that she had limited control over changing the basic product, which was designed before she took charge of marketing the Envoy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Kent Grayson. 2009. Ontela PicDeck (A): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Case 5-309-505(A) (KEL450).

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. It must also consider the value proposition of the PicDeck service for wireless carriers (its direct customers), who need to be convinced that the service will lead to higher monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) and/or increased subscriber loyalty. Part A of the case provides qualitative information on customer personae that represent different customer segments. Students are asked to develop a targeting and positioning strategy based on this qualitative information. Part B provides quantitative data on customer preferences that can be used to identify response-based customer segments, as well as demographic and media habits information that can be used to profile the segments. Students are asked to revise their recommendations based on the additional quantitative data.

Spanish translation available.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2011. Cisco Systems: Launching the ASR 1000 Series Router Using Social Media Marketing. Case 5-111-008 (KEL579).

This 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. The case discusses Cisco’s bold plan to launch the ASR 1000 Series “virtually, visually, and virally” and the digital tactics employed by the Cisco Systems marketing team to accomplish this ambitious goal. Business marketers normally adopt a more serious and traditional approach to marketing its products but in this case Cisco had decided to buck that trend by exploring digital tools and social gaming avenues which its target client – the technical community – were increasingly frequenting. Cisco’s challenge lay in whether this new approach and resultant value proposition would resonate with its technical audience and give the ASR 1000 Router the kind of publicity it needed to have. The case is set at a time when social media was burgeoning as a promising way to engage consumers more deeply with brands and products, but marketers were still experimenting with the tools and tactics of social media for marketing.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Aarti Kumar, Hilary Meyer, Coby Neuenschwander, Sang' ona Oriedo, Mallika Pradhan, Garima Sethi and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Lowe’s Companies, Inc.: Optimizing the Marketing Communications Mix. Case 5-111-010 (KEL563).

Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement retailer in the world, had launched an ambitious new program in early 2009 and entered the arena of kitchen remodeling service providers. With this decision, Lowe’s was making a concerted effort to move beyond its traditional DIY customer base and capture the attention of the do-it for-me customer. Lowe’s chief competitors were the market leader Home Depot, Sears, Menards, and IKEA along with an assortment of smaller independent service contractors. The case describes the challenges Lowe’s faced as it embarked on this transition to the services sector. It illustrates how consumer insights lead to customer experience mapping which then forms the basis of an integrated marketing communications program. It also illustrates how to build a quantitative framework for allocating marketing investments across the marcomm mix. The Lowe’s marketing team had the task of creating the optimal marketing communication mix and successfully engaging those consumers interested in kitchen remodeling.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Pallavi Goodman and Ori Broit. 2016. WMS: Revenue Model Innovation for Gaming Solutions. Case 5-215-254 (KEL951).

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. Complicating this decision were several factors that would have to be kept in mind. Americans' love of gaming had led to a mushrooming of casinos, which meant increased competition for casino dollars. Yet the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath had weakened demand for casinos. In addition, casinos, depending on the type of customers they attracted, differed in their appetite for innovation and maintenance of their slot machines. Students will step into the shoes of Dayna Stone as she undertakes the task of weighing these factors and selecting the right revenue model.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Gianmario Verona and Emanuela Prandelli. 2005. Collaborating to Create: The Internet as a Platform for Customer Engagement in Product Innovation. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 19(4): 4-17.

In the networked world, firms are recognizing the power of the Internet as a platform for co-creating value with customers. A key aspect of co-creation is collaborative innovation engaging customers in the firm's product innovation process. We focus on how firms can use the Internet as an enabling platform for collaborative product innovation. We outline key differentiating capabilities of the Internet as a platform for customer engagement, including interactivity, enhanced reach, persistence, speed and flexibility, and suggest that firms can use these capabilities to engage customers in collaborative product innovation through a variety of Internet-based mechanisms. We discuss how these Internet-based mechanisms can enhance collaborative innovation at different stages of the New Product Development (NPD) process and based on different types of customer involvement. We present two detailed exploratory case studies to illustrate how leading firms are engaging in collaborative innovation with customers - Ducati from the automotive industry and Eli Lilly from the pharmaceutical industry. We derive implications for managerial practice and research on collaborative innovation.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Emanuela Prandelli and Gianmario Verona. 2003. The Power of Innomediation. MIT Sloan Management Review. 44(2): 77-82.

In recent years, many companies have learned to use the Internet as a powerful platform for collaborating directly with customers on innovation. But direct interactions facilitated by customer advisory panels, online communities and product-design tool kits have limitations. They don't always allow companies to reach the right customers at the right time and in the right context. Thus, to fully exploit the Internet as an enabler of innovation, companies need to complement their direct channels of customer interaction by using third parties that can help them bridge gaps in customer knowledge. The authors call this process of indirect, or mediated, innovation innomediation and the third-party actors at the center of it innomediaries. In their research, the authors identified three distinct types of innomediary and observed how each one can help companies acquire different forms of customer knowledge. Using case studies, they suggest ways in which companies can begin to think about exploiting the power of these emerging intermediaries. For businesses that learn to use customer knowledge from both direct and indirect sources, the Internet holds the key to a multichannel innovation strategy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Emanuela Prandelli. 2001. Communities of Creation: Managing Distributed Innovation in Turbulent Markets. California Management Review. 42(4): 24-54.

A new model for managing distributed innovation, the community of creation is a governance mechanism for managing innovation that lies between the hierarchy- based (closed) mechanism and the market-based (open) mechanism for innovation management. The community-centric model shifts the locus of innovation beyond the boundaries of the firm, to a community of individuals and firms that collaborate to create joint intellectual property. A community of creation requires an identified sponsor, a set of ground rules for participation, and a system for managing intellectual property rights. The community of creation model allows innovation to proceed in a complex environment by striking a balance between order and chaos. This article presents detailed case studies from the computer industry to highlight the differences among the different approaches to innovation management. It also discusses the opportunities and the unresolved issues of the community of creation model for practitioners as well as for academics.

Eliashberg, Jehoshua, Jedid-Jah Jonker, Mohanbir Sawhney and Berend Weirenga. 2000. MOVIEMOD: An Implementable Decision-Support System for Prerelease Market Evaluation of Motion Pictures. Marketing Science. 19(3): 226-243.

In spite of the high financial stakes involved in marketing new motion pictures, marketing science models have not been applied to the prerelease market evaluation of motion pictures. The motion picture industry poses some unique challenges. For example, the consumer adoption process for movies is very sensitive to word-of-mouth interactions, which are difficult to measure and predict before the movie has been released. In this article, we undertake the challenge to develop and implement MOVIEMOD, a prerelease market evaluation model for the motion picture industry. MOVIEMOD is designed to generate box-office forecasts and to support marketing decisions for a new movie after the movie has been produced (or when it is available in a rough cut) but before it has been released. Unlike other forecasting models for motion pictures, the calibration of MOVIEMOD does not require any actual sales data. Also, the data collection time for a product with a limited lifetime such as a movie should not take too long. For MOVIEMOD it takes only three hours in a "consumer clinic" to collect the data needed for the prediction of box-office sales and the evaluation of alternative marketing plans. The model is based on a behavioral representation of the consumer adoption process for movies as a macroflow process. The heart of MOVIEMOD is an interactive Markov chain model describing the macro-flow process. According to this model, at any point in time with respect to the movie under study, a consumer can be found in one of the following behavioral states: undecided, considerer, rejecter, positive spreader, negative spreader, and inactive. The progression of consumers through the behavioral states depends on a set of movie-specific factors that are related to the marketing mix, as well as on a set of more general behavioral factors that characterize the movie-going behavior in the population of interest. This interactive Markov chain model allows us to account for word-of-mouth interactions among potential adopters and several types of word-of-mouth spreaders in the population. Marketing variables that influence the transitions among the states are movie theme acceptability, promotion strategy, distribution strategy, and the movie experience. The model is calibrated in a consumer clinic experiment. Respondents fill out a questionnaire with general items related to their movie-going and movie communication behavior, they are exposed to different sets of information stimuli, they are actually shown the movie, and finally, they fill outpostmovie evaluations, including word-of-mouth intentions.These measures are used to estimate the word-of-mouth parameters and other behavioral factors, as well as the movie-specific parameters of the model. MOVIEMOD produces forecasts of the awareness, adoption intention, and cumulative penetration for a new movie within the population of interest for a given base marketing plan. It also provides diagnostic information on the likely impact of alternative marketing plans on the commercial performance of a new movie. We describe two applications of MOVIEMOD: One is a pilot study conducted without studio cooperation in the United States, and the other is a full-fledged implementation conducted with cooperation of the movie's distributor and exhibitor in the Netherlands. The implementations suggest that MOVIEMOD produces reasonably accurate forecasts of box-office performance. More importantly, the model offers the opportunity to simulate the effects of alternative marketing plans. In the Dutch application, the effects of extra advertising, extra magazine articles, extra TV commercials, and higher trailer intensity (compared to the base marketing plan of the distributor) were analyzed. We demonstrate the value of these decision-support capabilities of MOVIEMOD in assisting managers to identify a final plan that resulted in an almost 50% increase in the test movie's revenue performance, compared to the marketing plan initially contemplated. Management implemented this recommended plan, which resulted in box-office sales that were within 5% of the MOVIEMOD prediction. MOVIEMOD was also tested against several benchmark models, and its prediction was better in all cases. An evaluation of MOVIEMOD jointly by the Dutch exhibitor and the distributor showed that both parties were positive about and appreciated its performance as a decision-support tool. In particular, the distributor, who has more stakes in the domestic performance of its movies, showed a great interest in using MOVIEMOD for subsequent evaluations of new movies prior to their release. Based on such evaluations and the initial validation results, MOVIEMOD can fruitfully (and inexpensively) be used to provide researchers and managers with a deeper understanding of the factors that drive audience response to new motion pictures, and it can be instrumental in developing other decision-support systems that can improve the odds of commercial success of new experiential products.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2006. Creating and Capturing Value in Distributed Innovation: Towards a Contingent Model for Solving The Paradox of Creative Destruction.

The emergence of open standards and the consequent increase in the fragmentation of knowledge flows which are relevant for most of the industries of modern economies has changed the conceptual and practical interpretation of the management of innovation. By building on existing literature on distributed innovation and with a detailed evidence from a set of enlightening case studies, in this paper we gain two results. We first develop a taxonomy of four emerging modes of value creation and capture in the context of distributed innovation. We then analytically discuss the alternative strategic and organizational approaches through two sets of contingencies: (a) the key variables that guide firms to select the optimal model for creating value through distributed innovation; (b) the systems of incentives that help firms to extract value from the different models. In so doing we provide managerial guidance for value creation and capture in the networked world and derive implications for future research on these topics.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Sanjay Khosla. 2014. Fewer. Bigger, Bolder: From Mindless Expansion to Focused Growth. Penguin Books.

Despite the relentless pressure for growth experienced by most managers, some kinds of revenue growth can be toxic for your business. The best way to promote growth is not through undisciplined expansion. It's through concentrated focus. Pursuing every revenue dollar that comes your way will limit the funds and energy you devote to the initiatives that matter. Only by narrowing in on a few key areas where you can win and distorting your resources against those area can you truly drive sustained profitable growth. Authors Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney present a practical, 7-step approach for growing your business by cutting back. Drawing on case studies that feature dozens of companies, from Kraft to Cisco to Hyatt, the authors present Focus7 - a clear, seven-step framework that can be used by global giants, small startups, and any business in between.

Nambisan, Satish and Mohanbir Sawhney. 2007. The Global Brain: Your roadmap for innovating faster and smarter in a networked world. Wharton School Publishing.

Companies can open up their innovation and partner with external networks in more than one way. The question for companies and managers, however, is: how do you know which approach would be most appropriate for your company? This book will help managers find an answer to this important question. It describes the seemingly complex landscape of network-centric innovation – one that is populated by inventor networks, customer networks, supplier and partner firm networks, and open source communities – and offers a roadmap for companies to chart their own path for launching innovation initiatives that involve diverse external networks and communities. Examples and case studies from a wide range of companies and industries – IBM, P&G, DuPont, 3M, Dial, Staples, Unilever, Sun Microsystems, Merck, Salesforce.com, Boeing, Linden Lab (Second Life), etc. – are used to provide practical insights that managers can apply. Written in a highly accessible manner, the book helps managers go beyond the hype and philosophical discussions of open innovation and open source communities and focus on the real practical challenges they are likely to face in championing and leading their companies in network-centric innovation.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Robert C. Wolcott. 2006. Thomson Financial: Building a Customer-Centric Firm. Case 5-405-753 (KEL237).

In December 1999, Thomson Financial (TF) began a radical transformation from 41 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 & Reuters). LEARNING OBJECTIV Understand: 1. Building the customer-centric firm; ‘Synchronizing’ marketing (branding and sales), organizational, and technological infrastructure to focus on customer segments rather than products. 2. Making transformative, long-term investments under difficult circumstances. 3. Coordinating business, organization and technology strategies throughout a long-term transformation process.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ben Cooley, Jeff Crouse, James Dougan, John Johnson, Kumar Venkataraman and Shun Zhang. 2006. Rand McNally: Navigating the Wireless Landscape. Case 5-104-038 (KEL103).

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. Yet, the opportunities for Rand McNally weren’t obvious, and the pace at which wireless technology would disrupt its traditional business was also unclear. Chris was considering three opportunities: syndicate Rand McNally’s brand and mapping content to popular Web sites, become a provider of value-added services to businesses, or focus on automobile manufacturers and try to forge relationships for providing in-car mapping services. What kind of technology, organizational, and sales force restructuring would be required to align Rand McNally’s organization with the new environment? Should Rand McNally jump aggressively into the wireless business, or should it take a “wait-and-watch” approach?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Lisa Damkroger, Greg McGuirk, Julie Milbratz and John Rountree. 2006. Illinois Superconductor: Forecasting Demand For Superconducting Filters. Case 5-104-033 (KEL096).

Illinois Superconductor Corporation was a technology startup that 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. The company had also commissioned a research firm to develop a model-based forecast. The model-based forecast used diffusion modeling, analogy-based forecasting and conjoint analysis to create a forecast that incorporated customer preferences, diffusion effects, and competitive dynamics. Students are asked to use the data to generate a model-based forecast, and to reconcile the model-based forecast with the manager’s forecast. The case requires sophisticated spreadsheet modeling, and the application of advanced forecasting techniques.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, John Miniati, Patrick (Junsoo) Kim and Pallavi Goodman. 2014. Motorola's Droid 2: The Product Manager’s Dilemma. Case 5-313-510 (KEL772).

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. It wasn't happy with the mechanical camera button on the Droid 2 (citing customer feedback) and wanted it to be changed to a software button like the iPhone's. This request immediately placed Motorola in the proverbial horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, it couldn't brush away the request of its biggest and most important partner. On the other hand, changing the camera button now would mean delaying the Droid 2's entry into the market. Should the Droid 2 team remove the camera's hardware button in favor of a software button per Verizon's request, or not?

John Smith, the product manager, leads the cross-functional Droid 2 team. The case setting is an emergency "war room" meeting to address this critical issue, just weeks prior to launch. John's objective is to obtain the salient facts and opinions of team members quickly so he can make an informed recommendation to his boss by the end of the day. He is concerned that this last-minute request for a design change will not only threaten to delay the launch, which would have significant financial implications, but could potentially create deep fissures in a hitherto effective team that had been running like a well-oiled machine.

The case puts students in a situation that simulates a real-world discussion and allows them to experience what it is like, as a product manager, to orchestrate a meeting with cross-functional teams that have conflicting priorities and agendas. It illustrates the challenges a product manager faces while striving to make important decisions with little or no direct authority over the various teams.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ashuma Ahluwalia, Yuliya Gab, Kevin Gardiner, Alan Huang, Amit Patel and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (A). Case 5-111-011(A) (KEL654).

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’s challenge was to determine the best tactics that could successfully connect with this audience.

The (A) case describes Microsoft’s dilemma and briefly addresses what college students mostly care about: managing homework, creating great-looking schoolwork, preparing for the workplace, and collaborating with friends and classmates. It also provides competitive information, chiefly Google’s increasing presence in universities and its focus on the higher education market and the growing influence of Facebook among students and its evolution into a productivity tool.
 
The (B) case describes the qualitative research tools that Microsoft used to get a better understanding of college students: day diaries using Twitter, technology diaries using the Internet and smartphones, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with students.

The case helps students understand the value of ethnographic and qualitative research techniques, draw inferences from the data, and subsequently make recommendations. It illustrates how ethnographic and observational studies enrich research by generating deeper consumer insight than traditional methods.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Raj Malhotra and Kevin Agastein. PhotoWars. Case 5-104-037.

This strategy simulation game focuses on dynamic decision-making in rapidly evolving technology markets. It addresses the challenges that incumbent firms face in dealing with disruptive technologies, in the context of the imaging industry. PhotoMax is an incumbent that makes cameras and film, and it must contend with a rapid but uncertain migration of its customers from analog technology to digital imaging technology. Key decisions that it must make include marketing decisions (advertising, pricing, retail channels), R&D decisions (product development strategy and spending), and partnering decisions (extent of technology licensing and licensing fees). PhotoMax must compete against another incumbent called Kanawa for market share, share of channels as well as share of complementors who join its partner ecosystem. Students are required to manage PhotoMax’s business over 20 quarters (five years) under 8 different user-selectable scenarios that vary the aggressiveness of the competitor, strength of network effects, and pace of demand change. The simulation provides a rich and challenging environment within which students can appreciate the interconnectedness of strategic decisions across functional areas as well as across time.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and John Miniati. 2015. TabletTeach: Opportunity Analysis for a New Educational Technology Product. Case 5-314-500 (KEL900).

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. Based on his first-hand experience and research, Russo knew there was a significant opportunity for a company that brought to market a tablet-enabled learning solution focusing on grades K–8, which made learning Common Core math and/or language arts fun for every student and engagingly simple for all teachers.

This case provides an interesting example of something typically hard to teach: transitioning from the fuzzy front end of a market opportunity analysis to a specific product opportunity. The case bounds the problem by outlining four potential product concepts, which students will then evaluate and rank using their own sets of criteria.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Edward Arnstein, Paul Leinwand, Craig Michaels, Michael Nelson and Beth Winson. 2004. Career Central Corporation: Building Critical Mass. Case 5-104-030 (KEL093).

Jacob Matthews, chief strategy officer for Career Central Corporation, 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. But how could he structure such partnerships without compromising the confidentiality of his candidates? How could he minimize the risk involved in trusting a third party with the company’s valuable database of employees? What was the value proposition that CEC offered its clients who currently used its competitors both online and offline? Refining the marketing message, structuring strategic partnerships, and consistently delivering on its promise were the issues that CEC had to address to grow its business.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Kent Grayson. 2009. Ontela PicDeck (B): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Case 5-309-505(B) (KEL451).

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. It must also consider the value proposition of the PicDeck service for wireless carriers (its direct customers), who need to be convinced that the service will lead to higher monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) and/or increased subscriber loyalty. Part A of the case provides qualitative information on customer personae that represent different customer segments. Students are asked to develop a targeting and positioning strategy based on this qualitative information. Part B provides quantitative data on customer preferences that can be used to identify response-based customer segments, as well as demographic and media habits information that can be used to profile the segments. Students are asked to revise their recommendations based on the additional quantitative data.

Spanish translation available.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Shankar Balakrishnan, Maryam Balali, Brit Gould, Steven Stark and Larry Xu. 2007. Siemens Medical Solutions: Creating a Customer-Focused Organization for Solutions Marketing. Case 5-107-011 (KEL409).

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.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Sachin Waikar. 2009. It's a New Day: Microsoft’s Office 2007 Launch Campaign. Case 5-409-756 (KEL533).

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. The Office 2007 marketing team has come up with a two-step campaign strategy that sought to first create awareness and intrigue using traditional media, followed by the heavy use of digital media to get consumer to experience the product through different types of “digital experiences.” The team needs to decide how much of its advertising spending it should shift from traditional media to digital media, how to design the most effective digital experiences and how to measure the effectiveness of digital experiences. The case is set at a time when digital media were emerging as a promising way to engage consumers more deeply with brands and products, but marketers were uncertain about the relative effectiveness of different digital marketing tactics and the optimal mix of traditional versus digital marketing channels for different product, market and campaign contexts.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Ashuma Ahluwalia, Yuliya Gab, Kevin Gardiner, Alan Huang, Amit Patel and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (B). Case 5-111-011(B) (KEL655).

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’s challenge was to determine the best tactics that could successfully connect with this audience.

The (A) case describes Microsoft’s dilemma and briefly addresses what college students mostly care about: managing homework, creating great-looking schoolwork, preparing for the workplace, and collaborating with friends and classmates. It also provides competitive information, chiefly Google’s increasing presence in universities and its focus on the higher education market and the growing influence of Facebook among students and its evolution into a productivity tool.

The (B) case describes the qualitative research tools that Microsoft used to get a better understanding of college students: day diaries using Twitter, technology diaries using the Internet and smartphones, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with students.

The case helps students understand the value of ethnographic and qualitative research techniques, draw inferences from the data, and subsequently make recommendations. It illustrates how ethnographic and observational studies enrich research by generating deeper consumer insight than traditional methods.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Pallavi Goodman. 2016. OnePlus: Crossing the Chasm in the Smartphone Market. Case 5-216-253 (KEL981).

In early 2016, after the success of its first two smartphones, the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2, China-based startup smartphone maker OnePlus was deciding how to build on its early success and grow into a global contender in the highly competitive smartphone market. Technology enthusiasts and geeks had flocked to purchase the first two generations of its smartphones and expectations were high for the company's next product. The company's founders, Pete Lau and Carl Pei, faced the challenge of broadening the appeal of OnePlus to address the mainstream market without alienating its core customer base.

"Crossing the chasm" from the early adopters to the mainstream market involved addressing three interrelated questions: First, what segments should OnePlus target as it sought to grow beyond its loyal fan base? Second, what value proposition and positioning strategy should it adopt to appeal to these target customers? Finally, what distribution and marketing communications strategy should it employ to make best use of its limited financial resources? A key consideration in formulating its strategy was to stay true to the company's culture and mission of "Never Settle" by charting its own course and not emulating the strategies of much larger competitors like Apple, Samsung, LG, and HTC.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Jon Nathanson, Oded Perry, Chad Smith, Sripad Sriram, James Tsai and Pallavi Goodman. 2012. Modu: Optimizing the Product Line. Case 5-112-008 (KEL651).

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. The question now was which of the eight jackets to develop and what factors should be considered in making that decision. The case is about how to estimate optimal product-line extensions after accounting for experience curve and cannibalization effects of products that share similar features, cost, and price. This will require quantitative analysis that estimates the effect of the experience curve and cannibalization on cost, revenues, and ultimately, profit. The issue is how to optimize profits by choosing an ideal set of products.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Brian Buenneke, Lisa Jackson, Nancy Kulick, Evan Norton, Erica Post and Ran Rotem. 2006. Microsoft Corporation: Branding and Positioning .NET. Case 5-104-034 (KEL097).

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. This case highlights the challenges of branding and positioning a complex technology offering. The first challenge Microsoft faced was to develop a common definition of .NET, which had been in flux over the prior two years. The second challenge Microsoft had to consider was the choice between an umbrella branding strategy, a sub-branding strategy and an ingredient branding strategy. The third challenge was to create a value proposition that would appeal to three very different target audiences: business decision makers, IT professionals, and developers.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Sachin Waikar, Sean Alpert, Gerardo Cardone, Ryan Mullin, Barnaby Nardella, Edward Sim and Hsin-Ting Huang. 2012. Amazon’s Kindle: Crossing the Chasm. Case 5-111-009.

Amazon had achieved success far beyond its expectations when it launched the Kindle e-Reader in November 2007. The marketing team at Amazon had adopted a “launch and learn” approach rather than target specific markets with this digital device on the cutting edge of technology. Now, six months later, it faced a more complex decision as it prepared to launch the second-generation Kindle. The team at Amazon felt that it must focus and choose its target market more precisely this time in order to position the product for long-term success. The choice of the target market would dictate not only the design and features of the device but would also influence the content, capabilities, and go-to-market strategy, including its partners, channels, and promotional tactics. The Kindle team had identified three promising market opportunities for the device—college students, mobile business professionals, and avid readers—but gearing the product toward a specific segment would likely diminish its appeal to others. Now the team had to decide which of the target markets represented the best opportunity for the Kindle.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Rosalie Chin, Jennifer Ord, Noam Ragins, Kris Rich and Liza Wintroub. 2004. Educational Technology Corporation: Crossing the Chasm. Case 5-104-032 (KEL095).

Todd Wilson, manager of partner development at Educational Technology Corporation (ETC), needed to determine the targeting, positioning, and selling strategy for its innovative Interactive Mathematics software for the college market. He needed to decide what types of colleges to target, and what stakeholders to focus on within the institution. His task is complicated by the unclear objectives of non-profit institutions and by the differing motivations of teachers, students, and college administrators in adopting software-based learning technology. The case highlights the difficulties in innovation adoption within large non-profit institutions, and the challenges in marketing to institutions with complex decision-making processes, multiple influencers, and conflicting motivations.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2004. Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation: Growth Strategies for 1995. Case 5-104-029 (KEL092).

Despite its clear leadership position, Blockbuster was running out of areas of high population density where new stores could be opened. 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. In this case of growing a company by brand extension, Hilmer analyzes which option would let Blockbuster leverage its existing brand the most. How do the two market segments compare in terms of size, existing and future competition, investment requirements and returns and Blockbuster’s ability to grow and defend itself in the segment?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Benjamin Hill, John Miller, Peter Nylund, West Robbins, Richard Wharton and Severine Borut-Zaslavoglou. 2006. MRT Micro: The CardioScope. Case 5-104-036 (KEL099).

Jan Bakke, founder and chairman of Norway based MRT was planning 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?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Paolo Cuomo, Ariel Hasson, Kevin Loftus, Angela Petros and Derek Yung. 2004. Trilogy Corporation: Customer Value-Based Pricing. Case 5-104-041 (KEL106).

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 organization, 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. He also had to address several adoption barriers that were preventing customers from embracing the gain-sharing pricing approach.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Sean Alexis, Zack Gund, Lee Jacobek, Ted Kasten, Doug Kilponen and Andrew Malkin. 2006. TiVo: Changing the Face of Television. Case 5-104-040 (KEL105).

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. As television moved from a network-based model to interactive TV, 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 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?

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Joseph R. Owens and Pallavi Goodman. 2014. Kindle Fire: Amazon's Heated Battle for the Tablet Market. Case 5-413-751 (KEL770).

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. Amazon sought to combine platform assets to create an end-to-end experience that would let users find a “sweet spot” in the mix of features and services. This strategy involved critical decisions such as selecting a customer segment to target and a positioning for the new product, dubbed the Kindle Fire, as the tablet market rapidly evolved. The Kindle Fire was designed to put the full Amazon experience right into the laps of customers, and Bezos was betting that his customers would see the Kindle Fire as the physical manifestation of all things Amazon. To achieve this, Amazon was willing to heavily subsidize the Kindle Fire hardware device. The key assumption was that the superior end-to-end experience Amazon had carefully created would lead to incremental purchases of content as well as physical products and services, and the margins thus gained would outweigh the hardware subsidy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Michael Biddlecom, Robert Day, Patricia Franke, John Lee-Tin, Robert Leonard and Brian Poger. 2004. Rockwell Automation: The Channel Challenge. Case 5-104-039 (KEL163).

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 multi-channel 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. An effort by Allen-Bradley and other manufacturers to create an industry-wide electronic sourcing consortium called SourceAlliance.com had failed. Now, the company had to choose between redesigning its traditional channel by creating a virtual network of local distributors, striking an alliance with a national distributor, or withdrawing from the MRO market. It had to contend with difficult channel conflict issues in choosing a channel strategy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Bernadine Ai-Kuo, Ronald Graves, Pierre Laurent and Peter Thompson. 2004. Motorola Wireless Data Group: The Envoy. Case 5-104-035 (KEL098).

Elizabeth Sullivan, director of marketing for Motorola’s Wireless Data Group, was formulating the marketing strategy for their new wireless communicator, the Envoy. Early sales results for the Envoy as well as its competitors in the nascent Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) industry had been disappointing, and Sullivan was under pressure to change this situation. How should Motorola segment the market for wireless communications? What market segments should Motorola target with the Envoy? How should it position the Envoy? What should be the marketing mix for the Envoy? Sullivan’s short-term decisions had to consider the fact that she had limited control over changing the basic product, which was designed before she took charge of marketing the Envoy.

Sawhney, Mohanbir and Kent Grayson. 2009. Ontela PicDeck (A): Customer Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Case 5-309-505(A) (KEL450).

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. It must also consider the value proposition of the PicDeck service for wireless carriers (its direct customers), who need to be convinced that the service will lead to higher monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) and/or increased subscriber loyalty. Part A of the case provides qualitative information on customer personae that represent different customer segments. Students are asked to develop a targeting and positioning strategy based on this qualitative information. Part B provides quantitative data on customer preferences that can be used to identify response-based customer segments, as well as demographic and media habits information that can be used to profile the segments. Students are asked to revise their recommendations based on the additional quantitative data.

Spanish translation available.

Sawhney, Mohanbir. 2011. Cisco Systems: Launching the ASR 1000 Series Router Using Social Media Marketing. Case 5-111-008 (KEL579).

This 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. The case discusses Cisco’s bold plan to launch the ASR 1000 Series “virtually, visually, and virally” and the digital tactics employed by the Cisco Systems marketing team to accomplish this ambitious goal. Business marketers normally adopt a more serious and traditional approach to marketing its products but in this case Cisco had decided to buck that trend by exploring digital tools and social gaming avenues which its target client – the technical community – were increasingly frequenting. Cisco’s challenge lay in whether this new approach and resultant value proposition would resonate with its technical audience and give the ASR 1000 Router the kind of publicity it needed to have. The case is set at a time when social media was burgeoning as a promising way to engage consumers more deeply with brands and products, but marketers were still experimenting with the tools and tactics of social media for marketing.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Aarti Kumar, Hilary Meyer, Coby Neuenschwander, Sang' ona Oriedo, Mallika Pradhan, Garima Sethi and Pallavi Goodman. 2011. Lowe’s Companies, Inc.: Optimizing the Marketing Communications Mix. Case 5-111-010 (KEL563).

Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement retailer in the world, had launched an ambitious new program in early 2009 and entered the arena of kitchen remodeling service providers. With this decision, Lowe’s was making a concerted effort to move beyond its traditional DIY customer base and capture the attention of the do-it for-me customer. Lowe’s chief competitors were the market leader Home Depot, Sears, Menards, and IKEA along with an assortment of smaller independent service contractors. The case describes the challenges Lowe’s faced as it embarked on this transition to the services sector. It illustrates how consumer insights lead to customer experience mapping which then forms the basis of an integrated marketing communications program. It also illustrates how to build a quantitative framework for allocating marketing investments across the marcomm mix. The Lowe’s marketing team had the task of creating the optimal marketing communication mix and successfully engaging those consumers interested in kitchen remodeling.

Sawhney, Mohanbir, Pallavi Goodman and Ori Broit. 2016. WMS: Revenue Model Innovation for Gaming Solutions. Case 5-215-254 (KEL951).

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. Complicating this decision were several factors that would have to be kept in mind. Americans' love of gaming had led to a mushrooming of casinos, which meant increased competition for casino dollars. Yet the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath had weakened demand for casinos. In addition, casinos, depending on the type of customers they attracted, differed in their appetite for innovation and maintenance of their slot machines. Students will step into the shoes of Dayna Stone as she undertakes the task of weighing these factors and selecting the right revenue model.

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