Zygo – Beating the competition by creating an entirely different niche

The Challenge

For decades, there were two leaders in the surface profiling market: Wyko (acquired by Veeco and now part of Bruker Nano) and Zygo.  Wyko announced their RST optical profiler a full year before Zygo was ready to launch a similar system.  Zygo needed to do something dramatic to regain market share and successfully compete.

The Solution

Our unexpected answer to Zygo: market research on the back of a bingo card (the internet and email weren’t commonly available yet).

Much to Zygo’s surprise, this inexpensive research tool provided the following key decision-making information:

  • There was, indeed, a market
  • Where it was
  • Approximately how big it was
  • Which key applications to emphasize in their new product launch.


Using the data from that User-based study as well as our experience in the microscopy market, we were able to

  • Contribute to the business plan
  • Suggest a small shift in technology development to make product more saleable in the microscopy arena
  • Reposition the product.  Instead of a routine surface profiler which would have put it in direct competition with Wyko, we used the key words resulting from the survey.  The new technology became a “3D surface texture analyzer,” creating a unique niche with no direct competitor.
  • Create a Brochure and ad
    • Carl Zanoni, VP of R&D and the senior project leader, termed the brochure as the best he had seen [in nearly 25 years] with the company
  • Conduct a full new product launch
  • Write a key article for American Lab, a key trade journal
  • Direct construction of an enthusiastically accepted Sales Book
  • Contribute to and participate in the International Sales meeting

 Time spent: 24 consulting days

Further Outcomes:

The engineer who had been thrust into marketing was promoted to Vice President, largely based on the success of this new product. Eighteen months after the launch he called to report the following good news:

Increase in share value:
"Over the past 8 months our stock has risen from $9/share to $16/share, and we believe you were the catalyst for that success". Subsequently the stock jumped to $60/share, then split.

Market dominance:
Within 2 years after launch the client was outselling the competition 5:1.

ROI: 40:1 return on investment within 18 months

Visit the New Product Launch section in our Portfolio to see examples of the work we did for Zygo.

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