Montague Corporation: Unfolding the Future in Cycling
Posted: 9 Jun 2010 Last revised: 10 Jun 2010
Date Written: July 16, 2008
Montague has developed a major innovation that creates a new sub-category in the bicycle industry: a full-sized, high-quality bicycle that folds. In contrast to existing small-wheeled folding bicycles that are portable, but with inferior performance characteristics, the Montague folding bicycle has the look, feel, and performance of a standard bicycle. However, while the firm has experienced notable success since its founding, it has yet to achieve widespread adoption of its innovation. What should the firm do to increase penetration? How can Montague overcome the reputation of folding bicycles as inferior performers and convince consumers, dealers, and others of its bicycle's quality? How can the firm get consumers to even notice the innovation when the bicycle looks just like a regular bicycle? In other words, how can Montague balance the need to look like a regular bicycle in order to achieve legitimacy with the need to signal value by looking different? What market segment should Montague be targeting – customers looking specifically for a folding bicycle, or consumers interested in a full-sized bicycle but for whom the folding feature might add value? Finally, should Montague license its technology to one of the leading mainstream bicycle manufacturers in order to increase adoption, vs. continuing to go it alone in the product market?
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