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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Marketing Sound: The Bose Way

An astute and consistent marketing strategy played a major role in Bose's growth. There were several facets to the company's marketing strategy. To begin with, the strategy's primary focus was on the product. Bose ensured that all its products were simple and user-friendly.

"At Bose Corporation, our product strategy is to offer not only superior sound, but to develop products that are small, elegant looking and easy to use. As part of that strategy, we rely on human factors - engineers to assess user needs, design user interfaces, and evaluate the usability of our products," said David Aurelio, Interface design group, Bose...

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies


On the other hand, Bose had more than its share of critics, some of whom lost no opportunity to run down the brand. Most of the criticisms against Bose centered around its high prices, poor sound quality, low quality components, and alleged marketing gimmickry. The most strident criticisms were about the company's pricing. At a time when the prices of most home electronics products were falling steeply, Bose charged a premium for its products. However, this premium pricing meant that customers demanded more from Bose products...


Bose Corp. was one of the most successful home audio brands in the US. According to Dr. Bose, the secret of his company's success lay in the fact that Bose products were able to recreate the feel of live music. And, live music always had an emotional impact on the listeners and that was why customers strongly recommended Bose products to their friends. He said, "Most of our business comes from word of mouth. The thing about live music is that the composer knew what he intended…When you do get as close as possible (to live music), you begin to touch the emotions of the person like the composer had intended."...


Exhibit I: Dr. Amar Bose: The Person
Exhibit II: The Bose Wordmark and Caption
Exhibit III: Things Consumers Most Want to Change(Based on a survey of CE consumers in the US)
Exhibit IV: Direct Response Advertising
Exhibit V: Dollars Spent on Print Ads by Bose (in the US)
Exhibit VI: A Bose Print Ad
Exhibit VII: A Comparison of Bose Products with some other High-End Products
Exhibit VIII: Some Expensive Consumer Electronics Products
Exhibit IX: Forrester Technology Brand Scorecard

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