EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Emotiv Systems Inc.: It's the Thoughts that Count


  1. Read: Note on Marketing Strategy
  2. Read Basic Quantitative Analysis for Marketing
  3. Review : Breakeven Volume
  4. Review: Marketing Strategy
  5. Read: Emotiv Systems Inc.: It's the Thoughts that Count

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 need to be made (pricing, channels, bundling a demo game) need to be made. The case grapples with the issues of: selecting a target application for the launch of an innovation; determining the importance of having a big name partner for the launch by an unknown start-up; considering the wisdom of taking a B2C rather than B2B approach with a novel technology; using analogous products to forecast demand and sales for a new technology.

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. 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?
  4. Using the elements of the marketing mix and the associated Decision Making Process (DMU) / Decision Making Process (DMP)What marketing strategy do you recommend.
  5. How quickly do you expect EPOC sales to grow?