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Sharp: Fashion Calculators Executive Summary Case Study

By Roxanne Guilhamet, Research Fellow, Design Management Institute;
Karen J. Freeze, Senior Research Fellow, Design Management Institute

Examines how a long-time market leader in consumer electronics faced severe competition in the saturated market of electronic calculators. Sharp needed to develop a line of calculators that would differentiate themselves and bring in new customers. Sharp designers challenged engineering with a concept that threw convention to the winds: make calculators that were not only functional but that could also be used as fashion accessories. Issues include choosing a long-term image strategy for an established company, creating competitive advantage without a proprietary process or technological advantage, and taking a design-driven approach to reaching new customers.

Keywords: Case Study or Method, Product Design, Product/Service Positioning, Product Line Policy, Project Management, Consumer Electronics, Consumer Perceptions, Design as Strategic Resource

ORDER This Executive Summary Case Study is available from Harvard Business School Publishing for $2.35 Academic/$5.00 Corporate. The order number is: 9-996-031.

This document was last updated December 2, 1996.

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All material Copyright © 1996 by the Design Management Institute. All rights reserved.

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