Bose Corp.: Better Sound through Research or Better Sales through Marketing?

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG161
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1964-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Bose Corp.
Industry : Electricals and Electronics
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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"We are not in it strictly to make money. Dr.Bose is extremely eclectic in his research interests. The business is almost a secondary consideration."1

- Bob Maresca, president, Bose Corp.

"They've been really successful at distinguishing themselves in the crowded audio marketplace."2

- Ross Rubin, analyst, NPD3.

"Bose competes by overwhelming smaller competitors with advertising and marketing - an expense that must cut into its R&D to create quality product."4

- Brad Cook, columnist, brandchannel.com, in an article, in 2003.

Introduction

In a consumer survey conducted by Forrester Research5 in 2006, Bose was voted the most trusted technology brand, ranking higher than technology behemoths like Microsoft, Intel, and Apple.

The survey, which covered 4,732 households in the US, compared 22 of the best consumer electronics and personal computer brands on three aspects - consumer trust, brand usage, and future purchase intent.

Bose Corp. (Bose) began in 1964 as a small privately owned company selling audio products, mainly speakers designed by the founder, Dr. Amar Bose (Dr. Bose). Initially, Bose products were sold door-to-door.

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Later, the company established a network of exclusive outlets, called Bose Stores, and shop-in-shops in multi-brand outlets. Initially, the company faced obstacles like lack of funds and lukewarm customer response. Unlike most of its competitors, the company had a limited product portfolio.

However, Bose soon became one of the best selling home audio brands in the US. While some analysts attributed the company's success to cutting-edge research and high quality products, others felt that its success was based entirely on aggressive marketing. Even among Bose customers, while there were some who were more than pleased with their choice of Bose products and intended to purchase other products from the company in the future, there were others who were bitterly critical of the company. Despite the criticism, Bose products were by and large perceived to be at the vanguard of electronics technology, and the brand was looked upon as an aspirational brand.

Bose Corp.: Better Sound through Research or Better Sales through Marketing? - Next Page>>


1] Olga Kharif, "Selling sound: Bose knows," www.businessweek.com, May 15, 2006.

2] "The simple, elegant style of Bose," www.businessweek.com, May 2006.

3] NPD, established in 1967, is a global research organization. Their expertise is in consumer behavior and point-of-sale information for a wide range of industries such as Automotive, Beauty, Entertainment, Consumer Technology, Fashion, etc.

4] Brad Cook, "Bose breaks the sound barrier," www.brandchannel.com, January 06, 2003.

5] Forrester Research, Inc. is a technology and market research company.


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