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Case Studies by Manuel Sosa

18 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 22 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Computer industry, Retail
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
On 15 May 2001, the first Apple retail store was opened to the public at Tysons Corner, Virginia, and the same day a second store was opened in Glendale, California. With retail branded experiences virtually unknown in the industry at the time, the decision to launch the Apple retail programme was greeted with scepticism. However, within the first week they welcomed 7,700 visitors, with sales of almost $600,000 – testimony to its undoubtable success – and went on to roll out another 24 stores. Fifteen years on, there are over 450 Apple stores globally, with higher sales per square foot – $5009 – than any other retail location in the United States. Even today, people still wonder what made them so successful and how it can be replicated. Having successfully designed a brand-defining experience for Apple retail that created immense value, Eight Inc. had to decide how this level of success could be replicated for other potential clients. The case describes the relationship between Apple and Eight Inc., who were initially hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to work on first the MacWorld tradeshows. It traces the steps in the process, from establishing the case to each minute detail in the design process. The case describes how the team built not just a store but a breakthrough branded customer experience.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To introduce and analyse a framework to design branded experiences. The case shows how designing a (retail) branded experience is different from designing a space or designing a service, and supersedes the latter. It also shows the business value that can be created through branded experiences. 2. The role of brand values in guiding the design principles for all the elements that contribute to the user experience. Understanding what those brand values are and how they are perceived by the target user is crucial in the design process. 3. A branded experience is the engagement of the user with the brand through the products/services, communication messages, the staff (and other users) behaviours, and the physical (and digital) space. The management of the experience design process requires an approach that combines modular and integrative principles. While the design of products/services, communication, behaviours and space are typically done separately by different disciplines, the integration of all these elements must be considered throughout the process so that they combine to create a holistic experience. The design of the Apple retail stores was not just an example of a good experience design, it was a breakthrough in the computer, technology and retail space. This provides a rich context to discuss the key success factors behind creating an outstanding branded user experience. One was the level of deep and detailed involvement of top-level management throughout the process, critical in defining the brand values that guided the rest of the design process and enabling the team to push the boundaries.

Keywords:
Innovation, Design, Retail, Experience Design, Computing Industry, Organizational Transformation

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published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case explores the possible acquisition by McKinsey &Company of design company LUNAR in response to the new directions management consulting is taking. As of 2014, a new internal unit included ‘McKinsey implementation’ and ‘digital labs’, which explored new opportunities for the Firm and soon became major growth vectors for the consultancy. Targeting new capabilities and expertise, senior leadership asks the heads of the Product Development Practice (PDP) to “shoot big” if an opportunity arises. Design is one such capability, but how should they bring it on board: A partnership with an existing design company? An outright acquisition? Or by developing organically, hiring designers to work within the company? Ultimately, the acquisition option is chosen as a way to secure proven design talent, a brand, a portfolio, infrastructure and culture. A team within the PDP pitch a proposal to acquire a design company to the McKinsey advisory board, which gives the green light for a pilot test. McKinsey&Company asks LUNAR to host a workshop (for the redesign of a storage cabinet for laptop computers) and is more than impressed with the result. Discussions to acquire the design firm begin, but strategic, organizational and operational issues must be ironed out first. Students are required to assess whether the acquisition option will succeed, whether there is a better route (with respective advantages and disadvantages), and what organizational levers can be used to optimize LUNAR’s integration.

Pedagogical Objectives:
a) The strategic reasoning behind building a firm’s capabilities through an acquisition. How to add new organizational capabilities via an acquisition, what form the acquisition should take, and the advantages/disadvantages involved. b) Using organizational levers (e.g. defining career plans) to structure the new firm’s integration. How best to integrate the new capabilities – in this case design – from the acquired company into the established organization.

Keywords:
Knowledge Services, Design Thinking, Organizational Capabilities, Innovation, Design Capabilities, Creativity, Creative Organizations, Mckinsey, Lunar

published: 27 Aug 2018

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Business consulting services
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Joyful Frog Digital incubator (JFDI) was the first seed accelerator to focus on Southeast Asia (SEA) and is a key resource for new start-ups in Singapore. It focuses on providing coaching, structure and a network to early-stage start-ups, and creating an open and welcoming ecosystem for digital innovation. By the time of writing, JFDI had facilitated multiple “classes” of start-ups in its 100-day accelerator programme. Now it is at a critical moment of expansion, with the evolution of the programme to accommodate three classes per year instead of two, and the introduction of a pre-boarding programme to facilitate the selection process.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Show how lean start-up principles are put into action. JFDI’s approach leverages the lean start-up methodology (http://theleanstartup.com/principles). 2. Illustrate how to manage an accelerator for start-ups and develop an entrepreneurship ecosystem. The JFDI accelerator programme takes a group-based approach to entrepreneurship as early-stage start-ups tend to encounter the same problems. These include team formation, customer adoption, understanding the domain, differentiated solutioning, articulation to an investor and illustrating traction. The programme tackles these problems during the 100 days of acceleration and provides a platform for start-ups to pitch their ideas to potential investors on “demo day”, the culmination of the programme.

Keywords:
Innovation, Start-Up, Accelerators, Singapore

published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case tells the story behind “My INSEAD Story” – a unique book for children based on the INSEAD MBA experience of their parents. Sian Bentson and Ankur Grover came up with the idea as part of their final assignment for the “SPSD: Creative Thinking” course. It subsequently became the basis of a commercial product and, ultimately, a company, StoryPie (storypie.co) – which creates storybooks from the personal experiences of parents. Ankur Grover shares the behind-the-scenes journey, describing the rollercoaster ride from concept development to product launch. The case explains how innovation projects (even for simple products) are carried out – from gathering user insights to ideation, prototyping, and testing – and the sources of uncertainty that a project leader has to manage during the innovation journey. There are two versions of the case. Part 1 describes the product conceptualization as part of a 10-day course assignment. The complete version covers the journey over the two months that followed the course to develop it into a commercial product.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Understanding and appreciating how innovation is enabled in a process-driven manner . Comprehending and analyzing the challenges of managing an entrepreneurial/innovative project . Evaluating business opportunities and identifying appropriate business models to go with them

Keywords:
Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking, Lean Startup

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published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case tells the story behind “My INSEAD Story” – a unique book for children based on the INSEAD MBA experience of their parents. Sian Bentson and Ankur Grover came up with the idea as part of their final assignment for the “SPSD: Creative Thinking” course. It subsequently became the basis of a commercial product and, ultimately, a company, StoryPie (storypie.co) – which creates storybooks from the personal experiences of parents. Ankur Grover shares the behind-the-scenes journey, describing the rollercoaster ride from concept development to product launch. The case explains how innovation projects (even for simple products) are carried out – from gathering user insights to ideation, prototyping, and testing – and the sources of uncertainty that a project leader has to manage during the innovation journey. There are two versions of the case. Part 1 describes the product conceptualization as part of a 10-day course assignment. The complete version covers the journey over the two months that followed the course to develop it into a commercial product.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Understanding and appreciating how innovation is enabled in a process-driven manner . Comprehending and analyzing the challenges of managing an entrepreneurial/innovative project . Evaluating business opportunities and identifying appropriate business models to go with them

Keywords:
Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking, Lean Startup

Related:

published: 31 Aug 2017

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Computer industry, Retail
  • Region: North America

Show details ...

Abstract:
On 15 May 2001, the first Apple retail store was opened to the public at Tysons Corner, Virginia, and the same day a second store was opened in Glendale, California. With retail branded experiences virtually unknown in the industry at the time, the decision to launch the Apple retail programme was greeted with scepticism. However, within the first week they welcomed 7,700 visitors, with sales of almost $600,000 – testimony to its undoubtable success – and went on to roll out another 24 stores.
Fifteen years on, there are over 450 Apple stores globally, with higher sales per square foot – $5009 – than any other retail location in the United States. Even today, people still wonder what made them so successful and how it can be replicated.
Having successfully designed a brand-defining experience for Apple retail that created immense value, Eight Inc. had to decide how this level of success could be replicated for other potential clients. The case describes the relationship between Apple and Eight Inc., who were initially hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to work on first the MacWorld tradeshows. It traces the steps in the process, from establishing the case to each minute detail in the design process. The case describes how the team built not just a store but a breakthrough branded customer experience.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To introduce and analyse a framework to design branded experiences. The case shows how designing a (retail) branded experience is different from designing a space or designing a service, and supersedes the latter. It also shows the business value that can be created through branded experiences.
2. The role of brand values in guiding the design principles for all the elements that contribute to the user experience. Understanding what those brand values are and how they are perceived by the target user is crucial in the design process.
3. A branded experience is the engagement of the user with the brand through the products/services, communication messages, the staff (and other users) behaviours, and the physical (and digital) space. The management of the experience design process requires an approach that combines modular and integrative principles. While the design of products/services, communication, behaviours and space are typically done separately by different disciplines, the integration of all these elements must be considered throughout the process so that they combine to create a holistic experience.
The design of the Apple retail stores was not just an example of a good experience design, it was a breakthrough in the computer, technology and retail space. This provides a rich context to discuss the key success factors behind creating an outstanding branded user experience. One was the level of deep and detailed involvement of top-level management throughout the process, critical in defining the brand values that guided the rest of the design process and enabling the team to push the boundaries.

Keywords:
Innovation, Design, Retail, Experience Design, Computing Industry, Organizational Transformation

Related:

published: 28 Aug 2017

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Public sector
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore is designing a new employment pass processing centre. Working with a lean-thinking approach and using previous centers as a template, the project team proceeds to plan an updated version with faster processing times and improved interiors. Unexpectedly, plans grind to a halt as the civil servant in their line of reporting raises some crucial queries that call into question the very basis of the new centre’s lean and optimal design. Time is of the essence and the project head is now faced with two very tough options: proceed with minor incremental changes that may not meet expectations, or go for a complete redraft which requires time and capabilities that the team may not possess. Which will be his choice? The case stops here to allow a class discussion to evaluate the two options on how to proceed. This provides an ideal setting to discuss how to manage a new-to-the-firm design-thinking project.

Pedagogical Objectives:
After reading and analysing the case, students will be able to: • Evaluate the pros and cons of lean thinking vs. creative thinking methodologies. • Apply the steps and processes of creative thinking. • Examine the importance of excellence in user experience via the customer’s journey through the system. • Apply their understanding to consider the factors required to bring about transformation through design thinking in their own organizations. • Consider the need for excellence in public sector services, as in those for the private sector.

Keywords:
Innovation, Design Thinking, Public Sector, Organizational Transformation

published: 23 Jun 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Consumer electronic goods
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This is a condensed version of the Handpresso case series #5841. It describes the development from concept to production of the world's first and smallest hand-held espresso machine. It explains the design process and how the product is brought to market. The CEO of Nielsen Innovation, Henrik Nielsen, decides not to license it as he has with other designs but to create a spin-off company for the Handpresso machine. The final chapter finds the team in a quandary, Henrik Nielsen’s untimely death leaves his wife at the helm. With two new machines ready for launch within a couple of months, it describes how the product is brought to market through partnerships and alliances. Having made a conscious decision to take this route, an agreement is signed with leading coffee roaster Lavazza, who in turn negotiates an exclusive agreement with the auto giant Fiat.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The overall objective is to show how to move from a “good idea” to a “good business” – in other words, how to capture value from an innovation and then build this through an alliance portfolio.

Keywords:
Product Innovation, Licensing, Retail, Partnerships, Alliances, Entrepreneurship, Product Design, Business Model Innovation

Related:

published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: consumer electronic goods
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Case A describes the development from concept to production of the world's first and smallest hand-held espresso machine. It shows the importance the role of prototyping plays in developing an innovative product, capturing the phases and decisions involved along the design path. The machine is ready for tooling and the CEO of Nielsen Innovation must decide to bring the product to market. Should it be licensed as they had done with other products they had designed? Or should they create a stand-alone business? Case B describes how and why the team started a spin-off company for the Handpresso machine, and managed to grow the business in a short space of time.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case reviews some simple principles in product innovation. It can be used to discuss the notion of "recombination" of existing ideas and how it leads to novel and useful products. Case A teaches the crucial role of prototyping to communicate ideas among stakeholders in the innovation process (not only within the development team but also with customers and potential partners). It highlights the role of prototyping in enabling design iterations (as an intrinsic part of the innovation process). Case B discusses the options available to capture the value of Handpresso. Taking a structured approach to "monetize" a good idea, it looks at the pros and cons of licensing vs. "do it yourself".

Keywords:
Product Innovation, Licensing, Retail, New Business Development, Protyping, Entrepreneurship, Product Design, Business Model Innovation

Related:

published: 29 Nov 2011

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: consumer electronic goods
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
Case A describes the development from concept to production of the world's first and smallest hand-held espresso machine. It shows the importance the role of prototyping plays in developing an innovative product, capturing the phases and decisions involved along the design path. The machine is ready for tooling and the CEO of Nielsen Innovation must decide to bring the product to market. Should it be licensed as they had done with other products they had designed? Or should they create a stand-alone business? Case B describes how and why the team started a spin-off company for the Handpresso machine, and managed to grow the business in a short space of time.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case reviews some simple principles in product innovation. It can be used to discuss the notion of "recombination" of existing ideas and how it leads to novel and useful products. Case A teaches the crucial role of prototyping to communicate ideas among stakeholders in the innovation process (not only within the development team but also with customers and potential partners). It highlights the role of prototyping in enabling design iterations (as an intrinsic part of the innovation process). Case B discusses the options available to capture the value of Handpresso. Taking a structured approach to "monetize" a good idea, it looks at the pros and cons of licensing vs. "do it yourself".

Keywords:
Product Innovation, Licensing, Retail, New Business Development, Protyping, Entrepreneurship, Product Design, Business Model Innovation

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