Ivey Publishing
Audio Advice: From Retail to E-Tail
Product Number:
Publication Date:
Revised Date:
11 pages (8 pages of text)
Product Type:
Case (Field)
Audio Advice was a brick-and-mortar audio specialty retailer with two stores in North Carolina. Traditionally, audiophile components were only sold through specialty stores. However, this practice was shifting, with a growing portion of sales occurring online. Audio Advice wanted to capture a portion of this growing channel, so started online as an Amazon Marketplace seller. Though this channel resulted in quick revenue growth without a great deal of initial investment, it was not suitable long term. Audio Advice’s management had a bigger vision. In planning their transition to their own e-commerce site, Audio Advice needed to consider branding: should they extend their existing brand, use a sub-brand, or develop a new one? How would each option affect in-store sales, Audio Advice’s reputation, and the willingness of audiophile brands to allow online sales of their products?
Learning Objective:
The case is suitable for advanced undergraduate marketing students and MBA students. The case is ideal for a core MBA marketing course, and will also fit well in courses on digital marketing, brand management, marketing communications, and channel management. The case will help students to
  • understand branding and sub-branding decisions in an online environment;
  • appreciate the organizational challenges of shifting to online retail (e.g., managing potential conflict and capitalizing on synergies between the marketing channels);
  • introduce Amazon Marketplace (a substantial channel that many students are not familiar with);
  • evaluate the distinctions between selling through Amazon Marketplace, direct e-commerce, and brick-and-mortar retail; and
  • understand and analyze customer lifetime value.
Marketing,  Entrepreneurship
Retail Trade
United States, Small, 2016
Intended Audience:
$4.25 CAD / $4.25 USD Printed Copy
$3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Permissions
$3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Digital Download
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