Competing in the New Environment


marketing environment, new products, start-ups, strategy, product life cycle

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Worksheet: Competing in the New Environment

This mini case study profiles the successful launch of  a new photo printing firm, which has successfully tapped into the new internet and digital world, with an innovated Facebook related photo product.  

About their Photo Products

This new has experienced tremendous success with their innovative Facebook photo books product. Due to its innovative nature, this new-to-the-world product, has already exceeded 100,000 in unit sales to customers in over 100 countries.

The product allows consumers to utilize the photos they have put on Facebook to produce a tailored and attractive physical book. Customers using the service simply install the firm’s Facebook app and then select which of their Facebook photos they want to include in the book and place the order online. The book is then printed and sent back to the customer.

This start-up saw an unmet market need and developed a new-to-the-world product solution. According to its Innovation Manager,

“with digital photos, more photos are being taken than ever but (in ratio) less photos are being printed than ever… until now there wasn’t a way to take your memories from Facebook and put them in a nicely presented photo product. It allows the customer to create and physically touch their memories rather than just having them sitting on the Facebook servers forever.”

The product has great appeal to both regular Facebook users and for the gift market.

Student Discussion Questions

  1. This is an example of a firm finding an opportunity in a changing environment. Do you think that most established firms look at environmental change as an opportunity or a threat?
  2. How could this firm protect itself against ‘copy-cat’ competitors?
  3. Do you see this business venture as having long-term viability or do you think it is probably a fad? Why?
  4. Explain where this venture is on the product life cycle (PLC), as compared to where their traditional printing business would be on the PLC.

Related Activities

A New Environment; Time for a New Strategy?

What is the Impact of Macro-Environmental Changes?