Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2007

AMD: A Customer-Centric Approach to Innovation

by Elie Ofek and Lauren Barley

Abstract

AMD's launch of the Opteron microprocessor in 2003 has allowed the company to make inroads into the lucrative server segment. A long-time follower to Intel, AMD management felt it was in a position to lead the microprocessor industry in new directions. However, in 2006 it was not clear whether Opteron's success in the server segment would translate into success in other microprocessor segments, notably corporate desktop and laptop, and whether the initial success in servers could be sustained in the future. Intel's imminent new product and pricing plans, as well as its existing brand power, could greatly hamper AMD's growth and thwart its new initiatives--which included opening up its architecture for end users to customize and recast its brand identity. Also examines how a company tries to gain competitive advantage through an approach to innovation that emphasizes customer centricity.

Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Price; Leadership; Brands and Branding; Product Launch; Product Development; Competitive Strategy; Customization and Personalization; Semiconductor Industry;

Citation:

Ofek, Elie, and Lauren Barley. "AMD: A Customer-Centric Approach to Innovation." Harvard Business School Case 507-037, January 2007.