Missfit: Tearsa Coates and Teruko Productions
16 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008
With a blend of qualitative and quantitative analyses, this case offers a discussion to which everyone in a class, regardless of background and experience, can contribute. An interactive supplement to the written case offers students a taste of the decision-making challenges that developing a product often generates. Tearsa Coates, founder and president of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based company, had a mission to promote female teen fitness and to build self-esteem. She developed a product, the MissFit interactive fitness kit, that featured a DVD that allowed users to choose their workout from options including yoga, cardio kickboxing, or hip-hop dance. Viewers could also select their music from nine different soundtracks. After competing for a spot on the popular home shopping network QVC Inc., Coates' MissFit kit was chosen as a product to feature. At the same time, Coates approached the local Borders Books retailer and had an opportunity to put her product on that store's shelves. The QVC offer was an uplifting opportunity to sell MissFit to the viewing world. On the other hand, the inventory the QVC offer demanded would require Coates to raise a major investment of cash. What would it mean if she charged ahead? What would it mean to Teruko if Coates turned down the QVC option? Selling MissFit through Borders Books would require less inventory and open the retail distribution channel. This opportunity could catapult Coates and her teenage fitness program to instant fame or break the bank. What should Coates do?
Keywords: entrepreneurs, start-up, new product introduction, growth management
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