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Pearl River Piano: Tuning in to the Global Market


Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Publication Year



This case traces the rise of Chinese piano maker Pearl River Piano (PRP) from a factory with dirt floors producing just four pianos a month using crude machinery to the world’s largest acoustic piano maker in 2012. PRP’s success is compelling: it accounted for over 20 percent of the global piano market by unit volume, with 14 percent growth despite tough industry conditions in 2012. In addition to dominating its domestic market (28 percent market share in China), it exported its pianos to more than 100 countries and regions worldwide. The journey was an extraordinary one: PRP was able to overcome major quality issues in order to carve out market share in a mature industry with huge entry barriers, and dominated by established Western and Japanese players. How did PRP earn the trust of consumers purchasing a fine, expensive, musical instrument for their home? How was PRP able to successfully compete on quality with companies that had been making pianos for centuries, while also building the marketing and leadership expertise needed to grow a global piano brand?

Topic List

Brand strategy, Emerging markets, International marketing


Musical instruments

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Available on ECCH


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