Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2006 (Revised August 2007)

RKS Guitars

by Elie Ofek, Thomas J. Steenburgh, Michael I. Norton and Kerry Herman


RKS has designed a revolutionary electric guitar and needs to decide how to best market their innovation. The iconic status of existing electric guitars, and the lack of any recent radical innovations in the category, pose challenges in securing consumer adoption. If the company goes it alone, it needs to determine the type of consumer most likely to adopt the new product, taking into account the novel aspects of the RKS guitar. Alternatively, the company could find a marketing partner or license its novel design to a bigger player. Rich in descriptions of consumer behavior that enable a discussion of the process that would lead consumers to purchase a new product. Also, outlines the company's design philosophy, which was developed to help its designers get into the mind of the consumer.

Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Consumer Behavior; Product Design; Adoption;


Ofek, Elie, Thomas J. Steenburgh, Michael I. Norton, and Kerry Herman. "RKS Guitars." Harvard Business School Case 507-003, October 2006. (Revised August 2007.)