During the spring of 2023, I developed a case study through my master’s program at UWA using the brand Linksys.
History of Linksys
Linksys was founded in 1988 by the married couple Janie and Victor Tsao under the original name, DEW International. The Tsaos were immigrants from Taiwan who worked as consultants, pairing technology vendors with manufacturers in Taiwan. With the combination of their technological expertise and their entrepreneurial spirit, the couple founded the company and began their product offerings by creating printer sharers that connected multiple PCs to printers, wirelessly. The company later expanded into Ethernet hubs, network cards, and cords. By 1992, the Tsaos were running the company full time as Linksys and started renting an office. Two years later, the company had grown to 55 employees with annual revenues of $6.5 million.
Microsoft was one of the first truly giant companies to take notice of the work that Janie and Victor were spearheading in southern California. Windows 95 was launched with built-in networking functions with Linksys that expanded the market for its products. By 1996, Linksys was selling their products in Best Buy, including the launch of their first affordable multiport router, popularizing Linksys as a home internet brand. Cisco acquired Linksys in 2003, when the company was seeing revenues upwards of $500 million. Cisco’s acquisition gave opportunity for even larger scaling. In 2005, Cisco also acquired Sipura technology and used it as an opportunity to combine Linksys’s offerings with the Sipura Technology line of products under the same name. In July of 2008, Cisco followed the same business model by acquiring the Seattle company, Pure Networks, a vendor of home networking-management software, and combined that with Linksys’s offerings. From there, the sky was the limit. Most recently, Harry Dewhirst was appointed as the CEO in June of 2021, and later that September a cybersecurity firm named Fortinet invested $75 million in Linksys. The brand has proven itself to grow and develop its product offerings over time and market changes in the digital world.
Linksys is a well-established brand in the networking industry and has a reputation for producing high-quality and reliable routers and other networking equipment.
The company offers a wide range of products nationally, including routers, modems, range extenders, and smart home devices, catering to different needs and budgets.
Their site is A-grade with quality user design that can hold a candle to UI/UX giants like Apple.
Linksys has been facing increased competition from other networking brands like Comcast, Spectrum, Google, AT&T, Verizon, etc. Linksys may have less cross-functionality than competitors that have phone and cable TV offerings.
Service outages and limited customer service representatives can challenge customers who are experiencing network issues with their services.
There is a growing demand for smart home devices that Linksys can capitalize on by expanding its product line and continuing to be on the front lines of innovation.
The collaboration with Fortinet shows opportunity on heightened cybersecurity functionality for Linksys customers.
There is room for growth with Linksys’ digital presence in both paid and organic media spaces.
The rapidly changing technology landscape and the emergence of new players in the home network industry pose a threat to Linksys’ market position.
Evenw ith the added security of a collaboration with Fortinet, cybersecurity breaches can be detrimental for the high-seurity angle of Linksys network products.
Any issues with outages or slow internet speeds can generate a lot of public scrutiny for the brand. Services of this nature require more due diligence with reputation management.
The brand is unique in that it is a pioneer in the wireless networking industry. The offering that will differentiate them from competitors is the confidence in their offerings and technology. For this campaign, Linksys will offer to credit new marketing affected customers that are facing early termination fees for switching service providers.
Linksys’ values include providing high-quality products, attentive customer service, promoting of innovation with every product, a focus on sustainability, and fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.
Ralph is a tech-savvy creative director that works on the leadership team of an advertising agency. He lives in Chicago, IL, and spends the bulk of his work week in Zoom meetings with clients as he walks them through their services, or with his direct reports as he manages their projects and workflow. Ralph makes $175,000 a year and values reliability, speed, and security with his home wireless network. He is drawn toward the brand history as pioneers in the industry and is a fan of the new partnership between Fortinet and Linksys. Nothing is more important to Ralph than is home office and how he presents himself in his professional life. He wants to present himself in meetings as someone with reliable speed, functional efficacy with his devices, and high-quality video calls.
Patricia is a mother of two boys and a full time Director of Product at a PWC-like accounting company. Her business life is incredibly important to her, and she sometimes must take her work home with her. Her two boys are in high school and have rigorous afterschool academic enrichment extracurriculars. She has been a long-time customer of Spectrum Wi-Fi and has historically gotten very frustrated with their speeds and connectivity. She often gets complaints from her boys for why have not completed all their assignments, and the internet being down is a go to excuse for them. At times, she comes home and is unable to access her work files due to issues with her work VPN and Spectrum. She’s been saying that she will change providers for months, but never seems to find the time in her busy life to sit down and do the research on what brand will meet her needs.
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