Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2011

Four Products: Predicting Diffusion (2011)

by John T. Gourville

Abstract

An updated "Four Products" case. This 2011 version includes: sliced peanut butter, artificial dirt for thoroughbred race tracks, interactive tombstones, and stride-changing running shoes. These four products form the basis to assess the drivers of new product adoption. In particular, one of the critical tasks in marketing new innovations is 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 can be distributed along with the case or after the case has been taught.

Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Product Launch; Marketing;

Citation:

Gourville, John T. "Four Products: Predicting Diffusion (2011)." Harvard Business School Case 512-047, November 2011.