EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Marketing Strategy


  1. Note on Marketing Strategy (HBS materials)
  2. Breakeven Volume
  3. Marketing Strategy Example
  4. Emotiv Systems Inc.: It's the Thoughts that Count (HBS materials)

Case Summary

Emotiv is getting ready to launch its innovative brain-computer interfacing (BCI) technology. The company has developed a special headset, called EPOC, and highly sophisticated software that can translate a person's emotions, cognitive thoughts and facial expressions into digital outcomes. Emotiv wants the technology to be adopted by mainstream consumers and is leaning towards the video game market as its primary initial target. However, it needs to decide whether to continue efforts to convince one of the big three console makers (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) to enable the EPOC on their platform or to settle for the PC gaming market. Alternatively, the company could have chosen a number of different markets to focus on (such as medical, military, market research). A host of additional marketing decisions (pricing, channels, bundling a demo game) need to be made.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the new market opportunity that Emotiv thinks it has identified? What are the possible market segments? How receptive will each segment be to the EPOC product? What are the barriers to adoption?
  2. Evaluate the competition for EPOC in each industry segment. Should Emotiv have launched EPOCLite?
  3. Calculate (to no more than two significant figures) the number of units Emotiv must sell to cover their projected operating expenses in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 at the list prices of $299, $250, $200 per unit, assuming all sales are through Best Buy. How does your analysis change if all sales are direct from the Emotiv website? What is your confidence in achieving this breakeven volume?
  4. Using the elements of the marketing mix, propose a go-forward strategy for Emotiv. How quickly do you expect EPOC sales to grow?
  5. [The remainder of the class discussion will build upon the in-class demo of the product.]

Extra Credit

In five slides, perform a market analysis of a product of your choice using the concepts from the Note on Marketing Strategy reading. Present your slides to the class.

SCPD Students

See the SCPD Resource Page for general information on assignment submission, team building, expectations, and getting help. See the SCPD Grading Page for evaluation procedures for daily written assignments.

Written work should be submitted using SCPD Homework Processing procedures.

All times listed below are PDT (California time).

  1. Complete the assigned readings and submit answers to the Discussion Questions in Writeup 1 (1 page) by 9am Thursday 5/10/2012.
  2. The videotaped class meeting should be available via SCPD by 2pm, Thursday 5/10/2012.
  3. Watch the video of the class meeting and meet with your team to discuss.
  4. Submit Writeup 2 (1-2 pages) by 9am Tuesday 5/15/2012. This writeup should include the following:
    • A summary of the main points of the class discussion
    • Any points from the discussion that you found particularly enlightening or disagreed with
    • A discussion of how your initial responses did or did not align with the direction of the class discussion
    • A revised go-forward strategy for Emotiv