| HBS Case Collection
(Revised June 2008)
Kenny Kahn at Muzak (A)
Founded in 1934, Muzak pioneered the industry of background music. Equipped with propriety technology and a vast music library, over the ensuing decades the Muzak franchise organization expanded geographically. Despite a history of innovation, by the late 1990s Muzak had anemic financials and low employee morale. When new CEO Bill Boyd took the helm in 1997, he assembled a new management team. The new VP of Marketing, Kenny Kahn, worked with design firm Pentagram to re-brand the company, not just for customers but to spark organizational change. But because Muzak was a franchise organization, Kahn had to convince independent affiliates to pay for what turned out to be an extensive re-branding. This case can be used to teach how branding can be used as a tool for spearheading culture change—not to exercise influence without authority—and how businesspeople can effectively work with a design firm.
Keywords: Change Management;
Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques;
Brands and Branding;
Organizational Change and Adaptation;