When New Products and Customer Loyalty Collide
In this fictional case study, Henry Carson had thought it was time for his company, Pacer Athletic Shoes, to upgrade its standard offerings for the serious runner and expand into walking shoes. But after investing considerable resources in the effort, he's having second thoughts: the returns so far aren't good; old customers seem confused or, worse, annoyed; Pacer doesn't seem to be attracting new customers, despite a flashy marketing campaign; and the company has had trouble getting its manufacturing up to speed. Industry statistics, along with a customer profile, seemed to indicate that Pacer was vulnerable to attacks from much larger competitors. As far as Henry could determine, the company had been left with no choice. It had to upgrade its offerings and build a following in the broader market so that if the industry giants did attack his niche, Pacer could survive. Henry thought he had taken steps to give Pacer staying power. Now he wonders what went wrong. Five experts offer their views on Pacer's current options.