Case Detail

Case Summary


Case Number: 5-104-024, Year Published: 2004, Revision Date: September 14, 2011

HBS Number: KEL132

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Key Concepts

Branding, Consumer Marketing, Forecasting Demand, Innovation, Market Analysis, Market Research, Marketing Strategy, Product Management, Strategic Positioning


In 1999 TiVo was preparing to launch its digital video recorder (DVR) in the United States. The company’s goal was ambitious: it hoped to revolutionize how Americans watched television and to become a central player in the emerging interactive TV industry.

Although it had a technological advantage, TiVo faced one competitor (ReplayTV) and potential entrants such as Microsoft, so its success was far from guaranteed. Evidence suggested a bright future for the company, however; the concept had attracted $240 million in venture capital, and market research indicated a uniquely high level of consumer interest.

TiVo needed to capture the first-mover advantage and build its sales and brand as quickly as possible to support the company’s IPO, which was planned to take place within eighteen to twenty-four months. TiVo’s positioning at launch would play a key role in determining its success.

Learning Objectives

After analyzing and discussing the case, students should be able to:

  • Use analogies appropriately to forecast demand
  • Use various marketing research techniques to make appropriate inferences about the challenges to consumer adoption of an innovative product
  • Develop multiple frames of reference and discuss the merits of each
  • Develop multiple points of difference and discuss the merits of each
  • Develop multiple positioning statements and discuss the merits of each

Number of Pages: 8

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: California, United States

Industry: Consumer Electronics

Organization Name: TiVo

Organization Department: Management

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: Sr. VP Marketing

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2001

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