Case Detail

Case Summary

Invisalign: Orthodontics Unwired

Case Number: 5-104-008, Year Published: 2004

HBS Number: KEL032

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Authors: Anne CoughlanJulie Hennessy; Andrei Najjar

Key Concepts

Distribution Channels, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Product Development, Consumer Marketing, Market Analysis


Align Inc. is a start-up company with a revolutionary, patent-protected new technology for straightening teeth, called Invisalign. Invisalign is a set of invisible plastic aligners, made to each patient's specific needs, that substitutes for metal or ceramic braces in adults (it is not sold for children's orthodontic needs). The company has created tremendous consumer awareness and affect for its product, yet sales results are dismal. The case requires the reader to analyze why sales are so poor and what should be done to remedy the problem. While the case is oriented toward distribution channel issues, it can also be used to examine the marketing mix for a new product introduction situation as well.

Spanish translation available.

Number of Pages: 18

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Orthodontics

Organization Name: Align Inc.

Organization Department: Management

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: VP Corporate Strategy

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2001