Harvard Business School
Seeking to disrupt the consumer printing market (before being disrupted by others), and in response to customer pain points, in 2013 HP Inc. launched an ink replenishment service called Instant Ink, where customers pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of pages printed. Replenishment cartridges are automatically sent to the customer prior to running out of ink. The service had reached 7.5 million subscribers by mid-2020 and senior management now expected to scale it substantially. Several growth opportunities were being considered, these included: targeting customers with printers enabled to be part of the service but who declined to join in the past; making instant ink the default option when buying a new printer; adjustments to the pricing tiers and other plan components; more extensive marketing efforts to generate awareness; geographical expansion; broadening the service to laser toners; attacking the remote work space; and thinking about ways to bundle additional elements, such as paper and hardware (printers, computers, etc.). A concrete growth plan to make Instant Ink a multi-billion-dollar business was needed before the annual Wall Street analyst conference to be held in the fall of 2020.