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The Challenge
The result
Case Studies

Bosch enters competitive market with an award winning product

The Challenge

In 2001, the Robert Bosch Tool Company decided to enter the circular saw market, which was considered mature and commoditized—nothing much had changed about circular saws in years.

Bosch wanted to develop a premium brand circular saw that would allow them to compete against the likes of DeWalt and Makita. The goal was to create an offering that:

  • Got the job done better at a competitive price.
  • Reflected the high-quality image of the Bosch brand.
  • Would be carried by the big-box retailers (e.g., Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.)

Bosch’s success would depend on their ability to uncover and address opportunities that the other established brands had missed. It was time to be innovative.


ODI enabled us to uncover over a dozen opportunities that were previously unknown to our development team. The CS20 circular saw was a hit with both users and channel partners. It differentiated us in a commodity market and was a winning product for 10 years. It was also recognized as one of the top 100 innovations of the year by Popular Science.”


The Outcome-Driven Innovation process we used for Bosch included five steps:

  • The first step was to define their market around the job-to-be-done and the people executing that job. For Bosch, this was tradesmen cutting wood in a straight line.

  • The team interviewed 30 saw users to create an exhaustive list of their needs – called desired outcomes – while cutting wood in a straight line. They uncovered 85 of them.

  • Bosch then surveyed 270 circular saw users to quantify the degree to which each outcome was under- or overserved by existing products in the market.

  • Unsurprisingly, the obvious customer needs were already covered in this mature market. Segmenting the market around trade or years of experience failed to yield any unique opportunities—but segmenting around unmet needs did. Outcome-based segmentation helped Bosch to uncover the perfect target segment, comprised mostly of finish and advanced carpenters. This segment represented over 30% of all users and was underserved on 14 desired outcomes, including minimizing the likelihood that the blade guard snags material.

  • With insights from the first four steps, Bosch was able to design their product strategy around a specific audience with very specific needs that were unmet by existing marketing solutions.

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The result

In 2004, Bosch successfully entered the North American market with what is today one of the top-selling and top-rated circular saws.

Bosch’s innovations resulted in a hugely successful product launch and dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction.

Upon introduction, Popular Science voted the CS20 circular saw one of the top 100 innovative products of 2004.

Today, Bosch is successfully competing with DeWalt and others in this market and has expanded its offering to address other unique market segments.

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It is highly unlikely that we would have focused on these outcomes, defined this feature set, or made the right trade-off decisions without having the benefit of Outcome-Driven analysis.”

RANDALL COE, Director of Product Development

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Strategyn’s outcome-driven approach to innovation made it possible for us to hit a home run in the mature and competitive circular saw market. The Bosch CS20 is a breakthrough innovation and a hit with both users and our channel partners.”


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