In a Bind: Peak Sealing Technologies’ Product Line Extension Dilemma

Case Solution

Robert J. Dolan, Heather Beckham
HBS Brief Cases ()

Peak Sealing Technologies (PST), a manufacturer of high-quality carton sealing tapes, emphasizes technological innovation as the company’s core value. But when a new regional competitor introduces a cheaper and inferior product, PST is faced with a decision that could contradict its values. Product manager Emma Taylor must decide whether the company should add a cheaper and less effective product to its existing high-quality product line in order to compete with the competition. However, that decision could cannibalize PST’s premium line. Emma faces a central problem in product line management, which determines the variety of products in the line that fulfill the same function. Students are introduced to the problem of “downsizing” the product line and must consider whether the company’s corporate values ​​represent a strength or a burden. This case can be used effectively in a first-year Marketing Management MBA program to illustrate concepts associated with risk and the strategy of introducing a product line expansion. It also allows for more complex analysis that would be suitable for an Executive MBA program or advanced MBA electives in product management, business-to-business marketing, sales management, or new product development.

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