Youngme Moon

Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration
Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation

Unit: General Management

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Youngme Moon is the Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration and the Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation at Harvard Business School. At HBS, Professor Moon has taught in all of the major programs, and has served as Chair and Senior Associate Dean for the MBA Program. She has received the HBS Student Association Faculty Award for teaching excellence on multiple occasions; she is also the inaugural recipient of the Hellman Faculty Fellowship, awarded for distinction in research.

Professor Moon's research and course development focuses on the intersection of business, branding, and culture. Her bestselling first book, Different, was published by Crown Business/Random House in 2010. (To view the book trailer, CLICK HERE.) Her ideas have been published in a variety of journals, including the Harvard Business Review, and she has published and sold more than a million case studies on companies ranging from Microsoft to IKEA to Starbucks. 

Professor Moon serves on the Board of Directors of Zulily, Avid Technology, and The Honest Company, and is a former member of the Board of Governors for the American Red Cross. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University, her M.A. from Stanford University, and her B.A. from Yale University. Prior to joining HBS, she was on the faculty at MIT. She lives in Brookline with her husband and two sons.

 

 

Featured Work

Publications

Books

  1. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd

    Every few years a book-through a combination of the author's unique voice, storytelling ability, spirit, and insight-simply breaks the mold. Youngme Moon's DIFFERENT is that kind of book, a book for "people who don't read business books...," a book that feels like an intimate conversation with a friend who has thought deeply about how the world works, and who inspires you to look at that world with new clarity. If there is one strain of conventional wisdom pervading every company in every industry, it is the importance of competing hard to differentiate yourself from the competition. And yet going head-to-head with the competition-with respect to features, product augmentations, and so on-has the perverse effect of making you just like everyone else. Youngme's message is simple: Get off the competitive treadmill that's taking you nowhere. Aspire to offer the world something that is meaningfully different—different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive. Along the way, this award-winning teacher and scholar draws on lessons from her research, her case studies on companies such as IKEA and Google, and her experiences in the classroom to weave stories of iconoclasm and nonconformity, of imagination and delight. The result is a breathtakingly astute deconstruction of the strange and wonderful culture in which we live and consume..., a take on differentiation unlike any other found in business today. DIFFERENT shows how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns... but exceptions rule. It is also a stirring reminder of something that we too often forget: That business is, at heart, a profoundly human endeavor... which means that an essential requirement for any businessperson—in any market, in any economy—is an acute sensitivity to what makes us all spin.

    Keywords: Communication Intention and Meaning; Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Invention; Marketing; Creativity; Competition;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd. Crown, 2010. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. The Hotel Bed Wars

    This case describes the start of The Hotel Bed Wars, the competition among hotel chains to attract customers by offering better and more elaborate bedding. The case is written from the standpoint of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which is credited with starting The Hotel Bed Wars with its introduction of The Heavenly Bed in its Westin hotels and resorts.

    Keywords: Competitive Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Customization and Personalization; Customers; Accommodations Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "The Hotel Bed Wars." Harvard Business School Case 509-059, March 2009. View Details
  2. (PRODUCT) RED (A)

    Describes the launch and initial results of the (PRODUCT) RED campaign, a social marketing initiative conceived by U2's Bono and Bobby Shriver to combat AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The company licensed the (RED) brand to partner companies, which initially included Gap, Apple, Motorola, Armani, and American Express. The business model was structured to benefit partner companies by increasing consumer purchases—of (RED)-branded products such as red iPods and phones—while also resulting in increased donations to the Global Fund.

    Keywords: Investment Funds; Giving and Philanthropy; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Social Marketing; Social Enterprise; Africa;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Michael I. Norton, and David Chen. "(PRODUCT) RED (A)." Harvard Business School Case 509-013, July 2008. (Revised February 2009.) View Details
  3. (PRODUCT) RED (B)

    Updates the (PRODUCT) RED (A) case through early 2008, including announcements of new partner relationships (with Hallmark, Microsoft, and Dell) as well as new communications initiatives.

    Keywords: Communication; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Social Marketing; Partners and Partnerships; Social Enterprise; Africa;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Michael I. Norton, and David Chen. "(PRODUCT) RED (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 509-014, July 2008. (Revised February 2009.) View Details
  4. VOSS Artesian Water from Norway

    VOSS is a Norwegian bottled water company that produces one of the world's purest drinking waters, sold at an ultra-premium price in a sleek cylindrical glass bottle of minimalist design. In the U.S. (the company's primary market), VOSS's high-end brand presence is strongest in on-premise locations-specifically, top-of-the-line restaurants, hotels, and clubs. The brand has only recently begun penetrating the off-premise channel. In June 2007, Ole Christian Sandberg, VOSS's founder and head of U.S. operations, is considering how to grow the brand. The key question is whether VOSS should increase its distribution in the off-premise channel. Will this diminish VOSS's high-end brand cachet? A related question is whether VOSS should begin expanding its portfolio by offering, for example, flavored water for the rapidly evolving U.S. bottled water market.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Marketing Channels; Marketing Strategy; Product; Luxury; Food and Beverage Industry; Norway; United States;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Gail J. McGovern, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Vincent Marie Dessain. "VOSS Artesian Water from Norway." Harvard Business School Case 509-040, January 2009. View Details
  5. Google Advertising

    In mid-2006, Google is the number one search engine in America with 99% of its revenues deriving from its simple, text-only advertising services. It is on track to bring in roughly $9.5 billion in advertising revenue in 2006, which would place it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales, ahead of giants such as NBC Universal and Time Warner. However, it has also begun to explore new ways to expand its online advertising model, experimenting with more elaborate forms of advertising (involving graphics, animation, and video). Google has also begun exploring the radio/television advertising space. Each of these forays is raising a number of key questions for Google, including whether it is possible to reconcile these advertising formats with its current business philosophy.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Disruptive Innovation; Media; Expansion; Search Technology; Advertising Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and David Chen. "Google Advertising." Harvard Business School Case 507-038, October 2006. (Revised October 2007.) View Details
  6. Sony EyeToy

    In early 2004, less than a year after its launch, Sony's EyeToy, a unique video gaming concept, had become a tremendous success across Europe. Developed for use with Sony's PlayStation 2 console, the revolutionary technology allowed users standing in front of a small camera to interact with game objects appearing on a television screen just by moving their bodies. Sales for the first EyeToy product ("Play"), a bundle of the camera and software, exceeded all expectations. However, sales for the second product ("Groove") were disappointing. Was it time for the EyeToy team to rethink its product development and marketing strategy? How could the team sustain EyeToy's initial success and prove that the concept was not a fad?

    Keywords: Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Product Development; Performance Improvement; Software; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Europe;

    Citation:

    Elberse, Anita, and Youngme E. Moon. "Sony EyeToy." Harvard Business School Case 505-024, July 2004. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  7. PROPECIA TM: Helping Make Hair Loss History

    In late 1997, Tom Casola, brand manager for Propecia, debates the best approach to market this breakthrough one-a-day pill for hair loss. This launch would be atypical for a prescription drug because of the key position of the consumer. As a result, the team's experience of past launches has little bearing on how its two available instruments, physician detailing and direct-to-consumer advertising, might play out in this case. Three issues present themselves as new: the form of advertising, the consumer message, and the balance between consumer and physician marketing efforts. The ensuing discussion allows participants to explore the goals of and interdependence between various marketing instruments.

    Keywords: Advertising; Communication Strategy; Customers; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Product; Performance Effectiveness; Problems and Challenges; Quality; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Wosinska, Marta, and Youngme E. Moon. "PROPECIA TM: Helping Make Hair Loss History." Harvard Business School Case 505-035, August 2004. (Revised July 2006.) View Details
  8. Aqualisa Quartz: Simply a Better Shower

    Harry Rawlinson is managing director of Aqualisa, a major U.K. manufacturer of showers. He has just launched the most significant shower innovation in recent history: the Quartz shower. The shower provides significant improvements in terms of quality, cost, and ease of installation. In product testing, the Quartz shower received rave reviews from both consumers and plumbers alike. However, early sales of the Quartz have been disappointing. Rawlinson is now faced with some key decisions about whether to change his channel strategy, promotional strategy, and the overall positioning of the product in the context of his existing product line.

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Product Launch; Consumer Behavior; Product Positioning; Technological Innovation; Decision Choices and Conditions; Sales; Strategy; Manufacturing Industry; Consumer Products Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Kerry Herman. "Aqualisa Quartz: Simply a Better Shower." Harvard Business School Case 502-030, January 2002. (Revised July 2006.) View Details
  9. Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

    Starbucks, the dominant specialty-coffee brand in North America, must respond to recent market research indicating that the company is not meeting customer expectations in terms of service. To increase customer satisfaction, the company is debating a plan that would increase the amount of labor in the stores and theoretically increase speed-of-service. However, the impact of the plan (which would cost $40 million annually) on the company's bottom line is unclear.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Profit; Recruitment; Marketing Strategy; Service Operations; Performance Improvement; Planning; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and John A. Quelch. "Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service." Harvard Business School Case 504-016, July 2003. (Revised July 2006.) View Details
  10. Great Dakota Bank: Online Banking

    In 2002, Great Dakota Bank's retail division is considering how heavily it should be promoting the company's online banking service. A recent promotional campaign appears to have significantly increased enrollments in online banking, but it is unclear whether the bank should continue to trade promotional incentives for online subscriptions. Contains data that force students to consider the impact of adding a new low-cost channel (the Internet) on consumer behavior; this analysis raises questions about whether the new channel does, in fact, lower the cost to serve customers.

    Keywords: Banks and Banking; Internet; Customer Relationship Management; Consumer Behavior; Demand and Consumers; Technological Innovation; Customer Value and Value Chain; Customer Satisfaction; Management; Service Operations; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Frei, Frances X., Youngme E. Moon, and Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar. "Great Dakota Bank: Online Banking." Harvard Business School Case 603-011, August 2002. (Revised June 2006.) View Details
  11. Rethinking Customer Satisfaction

    Outlines the structure and content of a six-session module that explores the negative dynamics that can result when firm profitability becomes disconnected from customer satisfaction.

    Keywords: Customer Satisfaction;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Rethinking Customer Satisfaction." Harvard Business School Module Note 506-046, December 2005. (Revised March 2006.) View Details
  12. Consumer Marketing: Rethinking the Core

    Outlines the structure and content of an advanced MBA course entitled Consumer Marketing: Rethinking the Core. The course, which is part of the second-year curriculum at the Harvard Business School, focuses on a reexamination of several fundamental marketing paradigms that represent a significant piece of what is commonly regarded as the marketing core. Intended for advanced MBA students who have already completed their introductory marketing studies.

    Keywords: Marketing; Consumer Behavior;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Consumer Marketing: Rethinking the Core." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 506-059, March 2006. View Details
  13. Cabo San Viejo: Rewarding Loyalty

    In 2005, Cabo San Viejo, a premier health and fitness spa resort located in Palm Springs, California, is debating whether to introduce a Customer Rewards Program. Describes the customer management challenges the firm is facing and outlines the various ways in which a rewards program might be structured to help address those challenges.

    Keywords: Debates; Customer Relationship Management; Marketing Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Adoption; Value Creation; Health Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Gail J. McGovern, and Seth Schulman. "Cabo San Viejo: Rewarding Loyalty." Harvard Business School Case 506-060, March 2006. View Details
  14. Rethinking Branding

    The classical branding paradigm assumes that brands should be built to last and that the role of the brand manager is to protect the long-term sustainability of the brand. Outlines the structure and content of an eight-session module that offers a more expansive perspective on branding. Contrasts two paradigms of brand management that have historically corresponded to two different worlds of consumer marketing: the classical brand management paradigm, which has traditionally been associated with the world of consumer goods; and the "hit marketing paradigm," which has traditionally been associated with the world of mass creative industries such as fashion and entertainment. If the underlying assumption in the former is that brands should be built to last, the underlying assumption in the latter is that a brand's popularity will be short-lived. Using a series of case studies, this module contends that the paradigmatic separation between the two worlds has attenuated over time. Suggests a formal synthesis of the two paradigms. Central to this synthesis is the idea that, regardless of the type of industry in which a firm competes, there are circumstances under which a firm is better off operating under an assumption of the sustainability of demand, whereas there are other circumstances under which it is better off assuming that demand for its brand is bound to be perishable.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Rethinking Branding." Harvard Business School Module Note 506-039, November 2005. (Revised February 2006.) View Details
  15. Sony AIBO: The World's First Entertainment Robot

    The Sony AIBO is the world's first "entertainment" robot. Positioned as a household "companion," the $1,500 AIBO has become a smash hit in Japan, appealing to both the young and the old, including those with little technical expertise. In the United States, the AIBO is in hot demand among "techies" infatuated with high-tech gadgets; however, it has yet to catch on with the mainstream. The task for Takeshi Yazawa, VP and general manager of Sony Entertainment Robot America, is to figure out how to market the AIBO to the American masses. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Entertainment; Innovation Strategy; Leadership; Marketing Strategy; Technology; Technology Industry; Japan; United States;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Sony AIBO: The World's First Entertainment Robot." Harvard Business School Case 502-010, August 2001. (Revised October 2005.) View Details
  16. Autobytel.com

    Autobytel enjoys first-mover advantage in the Internet new car buying space. According to a number of metrics, it is the online leader in this category. However, a number of competitors have sprung up, raising questions about the long-term viability of Autobytel's purchase referral model. In addition, Autobytel is struggling to accelerate revenue growth. The company has launched several new services and is now seeking to reposition itself in the market.

    Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Internet; Marketing Channels; Strategy; Online Technology; Competition; Business Model; Service Operations; Budgets and Budgeting; Growth and Development; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Autobytel.com." Harvard Business School Case 500-015, October 1999. (Revised October 2005.) View Details
  17. BMWFilms

    Jim McDowell, VP of marketing at BMW North America, is debating how to follow up the success of his latest marketing campaign, "BMWFilms." This campaign features five short films for the Internet, directed by some of the hottest young directors in Hollywood. By all indications, the nontraditional campaign has been a huge success. Now the question is, what to do for an encore?

    Keywords: Consumer Behavior; Internet; Marketing Strategy; Film Entertainment; Innovation and Invention; Auto Industry; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Kerry Herman. "BMWFilms." Harvard Business School Case 502-046, February 2002. (Revised October 2005.) View Details
  18. Marketing Antidepressants: Prozac and Paxil

    Describes the marketing of Prozac and Paxil, two of the best-selling mental health drugs in history. Set in 2001, several months before the expiration of Prozac's patent, Eli Lilly (Prozac's manufacturer) and GlaxoSmithKline (Paxil's manufacturer) must decide how to respond to the introduction of generic Prozac into the market.

    Keywords: Patents; Product Positioning; Competition; Ethics; Value; Health Care and Treatment; Brands and Branding; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Kerry Herman. "Marketing Antidepressants: Prozac and Paxil." Harvard Business School Case 502-055, May 2002. (Revised October 2005.) View Details
  19. Inside Intel Inside

    In early 2002, Pamela Pollace, vice president and director of Intel's worldwide marketing operations, is debating whether the company should extend its "Intel Inside" branding campaign to non-PC product categories, such as cell phones and PDAs. The "Intel Inside" campaign has been one of the most successful branding campaigns in history. However, the campaign is more than ten years old, and growth in the PC market appears to be stagnating. In contrast, sales of portable digital devices--such as PDAs and cell phones--appear to be growing at a healthy rate. Pollace is debating whether the "Intel Inside" campaign will work in these other product categories, even though Intel doesn't dominate these other markets like it does the PC market, and it isn't clear that consumers will associate Intel with these other markets.

    Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Growth and Development; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Product Positioning; Sales; Expansion; Competitive Advantage; Semiconductor Industry; Manufacturing Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Christina L. Darwall. "Inside Intel Inside." Harvard Business School Case 502-083, June 2002. (Revised October 2005.) View Details
  20. Online Music Distribution in a Post-Napster World

    Provides a description of the rise and decline of Napster, the free Internet music-swapping service. Also describes second-generation peer-to-peer services (e.g., Gnutella) as well as paid subscription services (e.g., MusicNet, pressplay).

    Keywords: Distribution; Online Technology; Price; Marketing Channels; Service Operations; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Online Music Distribution in a Post-Napster World." Harvard Business School Case 502-093, June 2002. (Revised September 2005.) View Details
  21. American Legacy: Beyond the Truth Campaign

    The hard-hitting "Truth" campaign has been one of the most successful antismoking initiatives in history. The focus of the "Truth" campaign is to dissuade teenagers from smoking. The sponsor of the campaign, the American Legacy Foundation, is now trying to decide whether to readjust its priorities and focus on what it calls "the other side of the equation"--encouraging already-addicted adult smokers to quit smoking. However, the only way to do this is by diverting resources away from the "Truth" campaign, a campaign that they know is working. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Communication Strategy; Customer Focus and Relationships; Decision Choices and Conditions; Ethics; Brands and Branding; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Kerry Herman. "American Legacy: Beyond the Truth Campaign." Harvard Business School Case 504-014, October 2003. (Revised August 2005.) View Details
  22. Birth of the Swatch, The

    In 1993, the Swatch is the best-selling watch in history. Traces the history of the watch industry up to the early 1980s, when the Swatch was introduced. Describes the various elements that made the Swatch different from any watch the industry had ever seen. Also includes a discussion of SMH, which controls Swatch, exploring how the company has managed the Swatch brand in the context of its brand portfolio (nine global watch brands in total.)

    Keywords: History; Management; Product Positioning; Marketing Strategy; Business Startups; Brands and Branding; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Birth of the Swatch, The." Harvard Business School Case 504-096, June 2004. (Revised November 2004.) View Details
  23. IKEA Invades America

    In 2002, the IKEA Group is the world's top furniture retailer, with 154 stores worldwide. In the United States, IKEA operates 14 stores, all of which have been enormously popular despite their self-service requirements. The company's goal is to have 50 stores in operation in the United States by 2013. Explores various options for managing this growth strategy.

    Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Product Positioning; Goals and Objectives; Competitive Advantage; Globalized Firms and Management; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "IKEA Invades America." Harvard Business School Case 504-094, April 2004. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  24. Alessi: Evolution of an Italian Design Factory (B)

    Since the 1970s, world-renowned architect and designer, Alessandro Mendini, has acted as adviser and counselor to Alessi, the Italian household goods design factory. By discussing Mendini's role as art director, the case introduces the artistic side of Alessi, where design ambitions need to be balanced with business considerations. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Design; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Leadership Style; Business or Company Management; Goals and Objectives; Consumer Products Industry; Italy;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman. "Alessi: Evolution of an Italian Design Factory (B)." Harvard Business School Case 504-019, September 2003. (Revised February 2004.) View Details
  25. Alessi: Evolution of an Italian Design Factory (A)

    Alessio Alessi, head of distribution at family-run Alessi S.p.A., is facing price and brand confusion among customers and is considering reorganizing Alessi's worldwide network of distributors. By describing the challenges facing Alessi, an internationally acclaimed design and manufacturing company of household objects for the table and kitchen, the case examines consumer marketing and distribution in general, as applied in the niche market of highly designed household goods for an Italian design factory. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Family Business; Transition; Cost Management; Brands and Branding; Product Positioning; Distribution; Production; Problems and Challenges; Networks; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman. "Alessi: Evolution of an Italian Design Factory (A)." Harvard Business School Case 504-018, September 2003. (Revised January 2004.) View Details
  26. Burberry

    In 2003, Rose Marie Bravo, Burberry's CEO, is debating how to maintain the currency and cachet of the brand across its broad customer base, while entering new product categories and expanding distribution. In the past five years, the brand has become one of the hottest luxury brands in the world. But Bravo now faces a number of key decisions, including (1) which new product categories to enter, (2) how to deal with the appropriation of the brand by nontarget customers, and (3) how prominent the company's famed "check" pattern should be in its advertising and clothing. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Management Teams; Luxury; Product Launch; Distribution; Product Positioning; Advertising; Market Entry and Exit; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Fashion Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Erika Kussmann, Emma Penick, Susan Wojewoda, and Kerry Herman. "Burberry." Harvard Business School Case 504-048, October 2003. (Revised January 2004.) View Details
  27. Electronic Arts Introduces The Sims Online

    Electronic Arts (EA), the world's largest independent game publisher, is preparing to launch an online, subscription-based version of the most popular PC game in history: The Sims. The new game is called "The Sims Online" and it differs from the original game in two key respects: the gaming experience and the payment structure. In this context, EA managers must finalize several decisions that they believe are fundamental to the game's success, including target market selection and pricing/payment structure.

    Keywords: Fair Value Accounting; Decision Making; Price; Product Launch; Market Entry and Exit; Internet; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Electronic Arts Introduces The Sims Online." Harvard Business School Case 503-008, August 2002. (Revised August 2003.) View Details
  28. In-N-Out Burger

    In-N-Out Burger is a fast-food chain with 171 company-owned locations in three states--California, Nevada, and Arizona. It has an extremely hardcore customer base and the company appears to be in good financial health. The primary issue in this case concerns expansion: how quickly should the company expand and should that growth occur regionally or nationally? A secondary issue involves the question of brand stewardship, namely, who is in the best position to steward the brand as it continues to grow over the next decade?

    Keywords: Customer Relationship Management; Profit; Leadership Development; Brands and Branding; Product Marketing; Distribution; Expansion; Food and Beverage Industry; Arizona; California; Nevada;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., Lucy Cummings, Sonali Sampat, Sam Thakarar, and Kerry Herman. "In-N-Out Burger." Harvard Business School Case 503-096, June 2003. View Details
  29. McDonald's Russia: Managing a Crisis

    In August 1998, George Cohon, founder and senior chairman of McDonald's Russia, is facing an economic state of emergency. Russia is in the midst of a severe currency crisis--the ruble has plummeted in value, creating massive inflation and widespread economic disarray. Traffic in the 26 restaurants has plummeted, and Cohon is struggling to figure out how to entice consumers back to McDonald's. Cohon is debating two issues: whether to raise prices and whether to add low-priced items, such as cabbage soup, to the menu.

    Keywords: Currency; Crisis Management; Brands and Branding; Retail Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Russia;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Kerry Herman. "McDonald's Russia: Managing a Crisis." Harvard Business School Case 503-020, October 2002. (Revised January 2003.) View Details
  30. Microsoft: Positioning the Tablet PC

    Microsoft is preparing for the launch of the Tablet PC, which allows users to use a pen (stylus) to run Windows and Windows applications, annotate documents, and create handwritten documents for later reference or even conversion to text. Microsoft's original equipment manufacturing partners are developing the Tablet PC hardware, while Microsoft develops the software (the Windows XP Tablet Edition). The Microsoft Tablet PC team is grappling with two critical issues related to the final marketing plan. The first concerns the positioning of the Tablet PC. One option is to position the device as a radical breakthrough in computing technology that will dramatically change the role of computers in the workplace and home. A much more conservative option is to position the Tablet PC as merely a high-end laptop with several interesting new features. The second concerns the initial target market for the device. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Product Positioning; Market Entry and Exit; Hardware; Software; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Christina L. Darwall. "Microsoft: Positioning the Tablet PC." Harvard Business School Case 502-051, March 2002. (Revised January 2003.) View Details
  31. Audio Spotlight, The

    Joe Pompei, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, has invented a breakthrough audio invention. The invention is an "Audio Spotlight" that projects a narrow beam of sound in the same way a laser beam projects a narrow beam of light. He must now decide how to commercialize the technology. He has narrowed down the commercial possibilities to four markets: the autosound market, the professional audio market, the interactive kiosk market, and the home audio market.

    Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Independent Innovation and Invention; Marketing; Demand and Consumers; Value Creation;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Audio Spotlight, The." Harvard Business School Case 502-014, November 2001. (Revised August 2002.) View Details
  32. NTT DoCoMo: Marketing i-mode

    i-mode is a wireless Internet service offered in Japan by NTT DoCoMo. In just three years, the service has won over 30 million subscribers and achieved a 60% share of Japan's mobile Internet market, making it the most successful mobile data service in the world. It is now early 2002 and Keiichi Enoki, managing director of NTT DoCoMo's i-mode service, faces two challenges. On the domestic front, i-mode must fend off two strong competitors while managing the migration of i-mode's existing customer base to DoCoMo's new 3G (third-generation) wireless service. On the international front, the company must figure out a way to bring the i-mode model to U.S. and European markets, where consumers appear reluctant to adopt the mobile Internet.

    Keywords: Price; Marketing; Marketing Channels; Market Entry and Exit; Market Participation; Success; Competition; Internet; Technology Adoption; Wireless Technology; Telecommunications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "NTT DoCoMo: Marketing i-mode." Harvard Business School Case 502-031, June 2002. (Revised July 2002.) View Details
  33. Vans: Skating on Air

    Vans is best known for selling footwear and apparel to skateboarders, surfers, and other alternative sports athletes. In April 2002, Gary Schoenfeld, the CEO, is facing a number of challenges. With respect to footwear, he must decide what to do about two product lines that are struggling--the outdoor line of hiking shoes and the women's collection. More broadly, Vans is currently embarking on a number of new ventures, some of with which the company has little experience. For example, Vans is in the process of promoting a full-length movie, creating its own record label, and working with video-game developers to develop games based on its sporting events. Traces the up-and-down history of a niche fashion brand in a market in which consumers are notoriously fickle. In recent years, the CEO appears to have revived the brand; however, it is unclear whether the company is in danger of losing its hardcore customer base as it ventures into the consumer mainstream.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Product Launch; Demand and Consumers; Product Development; Value Creation; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Retail Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and David Kiron. "Vans: Skating on Air." Harvard Business School Case 502-077, June 2002. View Details
  34. Gateway: Moving Beyond the Box

    Gateway has opened retail stores to differentiate itself from its competitors (e.g., Dell). Describes how the company has created an excellent service experience, but has struggled financially as a result.

    Keywords: Transition; Change Management; Valuation; Service Operations; Service Delivery; Distribution Channels; Computer Industry; Electronics Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Frei, Frances X., Youngme E. Moon, and Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar. "Gateway: Moving Beyond the Box." Harvard Business School Case 601-038, July 2000. (Revised May 2002.) View Details
  35. Digital Angel

    Digital Angel is considering the appropriate marketing plan for the launch of its new locator device. The device, a watch and pager worn in combination, provides GPS location information and monitors heart rate and body temperature via body sensors. Parents of young children and caregivers of Alzheimer's patients are the initial target markets for the device, but at least 26 potential markets have been identified for the product. Building a brand and generating positive word of mouth are central to the marketing plan decision. But the technology also raises concerns over privacy issues, and the benefits of the product are complex and challenging to communicate.

    Keywords: Communication Strategy; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Market Entry and Exit; Product Development; Problems and Challenges;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E., and Kerry Herman. "Digital Angel." Harvard Business School Case 502-021, November 2001. (Revised March 2002.) View Details
  36. Charmed Technology

    Charmed Technology, a California start-up known primarily for its high-profile fashion shows featuring "wearable" computers, has just released its first product. The "CharmIT" is being billed as the world's first affordable, wearable computer for consumers. The key issue facing the company is whether it is time to begin expending greater marketing resources to build a customer base for the CharmIT. The company has no marketing team. Indeed, it doesn't even have a VP of marketing or sales yet. However, if Charmed decides to hire a marketing team, it will have to fire a significant number of engineers because of budgetary constraints. Given that the CharmIT is still a first-generation product, CEO Alex Lightman is unsure whether this makes sense. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Resignation and Termination; Technological Innovation; Marketing Strategy; Product Development; Luxury; Hardware; Value Creation; Computer Industry; Fashion Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Charmed Technology." Harvard Business School Case 502-012, August 2001. View Details
  37. BizRate.com

    BizRate is a market research firm that collects point-of-purchase customer feedback data from retailing merchants. It then makes its findings available to consumers in the form of "BizRate star ratings," which are displayed on its website. To date, its primary revenue source has come directly from this market research (the company sells detailed customer feedback analysis reports to vendors). In October 1999 (Red October), BizRate introduced a number of e-commerce initiatives, which were so successful that the company's e-commerce revenues are now on the verge of eclipsing revenues from BizRate's research division. This has led to a debate over whether or not BizRate should dump the research side of its business altogether (i.e., continue to collect point-of-sale and follow-up data, but stop producing research reports for vendors) in order to focus on becoming an e-commerce referral site. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Business Education; Marketing Channels; Internet; Customer Relationship Management; Trust; Business Model; Marketing Strategy; Web Sites; Business Divisions; Debates; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "BizRate.com." Harvard Business School Case 501-024, October 2000. (Revised March 2001.) View Details
  38. Pricing and Market Making on the Internet

    Considers the impact of the Internet on how market exchanges will take place. Discusses the role of shopping agents and alternatives to fixed prices such as negotiations, auctions, and exchanges.

    Keywords: Price; Marketing Strategy; Auctions; Market Platforms; Negotiation; Internet;

    Citation:

    Dolan, Robert J., and Youngme E. Moon. "Pricing and Market Making on the Internet." Harvard Business School Background Note 500-065, December 1999. (Revised November 2000.) View Details
  39. RadioShack

    Outlines the transformation of RadioShack stores from a parts and accessories business to a provider of high bandwidth Internet access.

    Keywords: Change Management; Marketing Strategy; Risk and Uncertainty; Internet;

    Citation:

    Rangan, V. Kasturi, Youngme E. Moon, and Marie Bell. "RadioShack." Harvard Business School Case 500-081, February 2000. (Revised April 2000.) View Details
  40. Interactive Technologies and Relationship Marketing Strategies

    Outlines the role of interactive technologies in the development of relationship marketing strategies.

    Keywords: Marketing Strategy; Customer Relationship Management; Technology;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Interactive Technologies and Relationship Marketing Strategies." Harvard Business School Background Note 599-101, March 1999. (Revised January 2000.) View Details
  41. Coop, The: Market Research

    Daryl Buckmeister, CEO of The Chicken Coop, must decide whether to invest in market research, how much money to spend, and which programs to fund. His two vice presidents (of quality and marketing) have presented very different proposals.

    Keywords: Marketing; Cost; Research; Markets; Quality; Decisions; Management Teams; Food and Beverage Industry; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Bolton, Ruth, and Youngme E. Moon. "Coop, The: Market Research." Harvard Business School Case 599-113, March 1999. (Revised August 1999.) View Details
  42. Onsale, Inc.

    Onsale has been a pioneer in electronic commerce, offering excess and refurbished goods using an online auction format. The company is now planning to become a player in the highly competitive world of first-run computer merchandise as well. However, unlike other computer resellers whose business models are based on gross margins, the new Onsale model is based on the idea of fixed commissions. The case poses a number of issues raised by the new model, including supplier relationships and brand image management.

    Keywords: Business Model; Transformation; Customers; Brands and Branding; Auctions; Network Effects; Strategic Planning; Competitive Strategy; Internet; Online Technology; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme E. "Onsale, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 599-091, February 1999. (Revised May 1999.) View Details

Journal Articles

  1. The Effects of Physical Distance and Response Latency on Persuasion in Computer-mediated Communication and Human-computer Interaction

    Keywords: Technology; Communication;

    Citation:

    Moon, Youngme. "The Effects of Physical Distance and Response Latency on Persuasion in Computer-mediated Communication and Human-computer Interaction." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 5, no. 4 (December 1999): 379–392. View Details
  2. Can Computers Be Teammates? Affiliation and Social Identity Effects in Human-computer Interaction

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Identity;

    Citation:

    Nass, C. I., B. J. Fogg, and Y. Moon. "Can Computers Be Teammates? Affiliation and Social Identity Effects in Human-computer Interaction." International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 45, no. 6 (December 1996): 669–678. View Details
  3. Localized Autocorrelation Diagnostic Statistic for Sociological Models: Times-series, Network, and Spatial Datasets

    Keywords: Society; Data and Data Sets; Information;

    Citation:

    Nass, C. I., and Y. Moon. "Localized Autocorrelation Diagnostic Statistic for Sociological Models: Times-series, Network, and Spatial Datasets." Sociological Methods & Research 25, no. 2 (November 1996): 223–247. View Details

    Research Summary

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