Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2008

Four Products: Predicting Diffusion (2008)

by John T. Gourville

Abstract

An updated "Four Products" case. This 2008 version includes: sliced peanut butter, foldable bicycle tires, high-end wooden puzzles, and artificial dirt for thoroughbred race tracks. These four products form the basis to assess the drivers of new product adoption. In particular, one of the critical tasks in the marketing of new innovations in predicting demand and rates of diffusion for those products. And while one can speculate on the scope and rate of diffusion for any given product, it's helpful to compare and contrast diffusion across products. Doing so allows one to focus on the drivers or product characteristics that influence product diffusion, making one product a star and another a dog. Specifically, looking across products allows one to pick up on things that get lost in discussing a single product. Note that this case often gets used with HBS No. 505-075, "Note on Innovation Diffusion: Rogers' Five Factors," which either can be distributed along with the case or after the case has been taught.

Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Innovation and Invention; Product Marketing; Demand and Consumers; Adoption;

Citation:

Gourville, John T. "Four Products: Predicting Diffusion (2008)." Harvard Business School Case 508-103, April 2008.