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Lalin Anik (Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA)
Gerry Yemen (Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA)
Aerika Mittal (Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA)

Publication date: 23 June 2021


Study level/applicability

This case was successfully taught in a second-year MBA marketing course on the science of behavior change. It would be suitable for first-year MBA and executive education programs. The material would work well on courses on women in business, women as leaders and women in data science. The female protagonist creates a tech platform and uses a data-driven model.

Subject area

Marketing – it was used in a module around leveraging existing insights and creating new ones in marketing strategies. The course is structured around a “pathway to behavior change” framework. This case focuses on the analysis segment of the model, introduces targeted behavioral challenge(s) and lends itself to identifying consumer insights, biases and behaviors. It uses that analysis to learn about the market, competition and gaps to fill.

Case overview

This case uses a startup in the retail industry to explore the leverage of behavioral science to enrich a business model and structure a marketing campaign. The material unfolds the testing of an innovative process and use of persuasion to align business practices with human behavior and scale. In addition, it gives the opportunity to discuss how a minimal tech solution could bring in market data and provide a test platform to larger clients.The founder of Rohvi, Sara Whiffen, created a platform that allowed shoppers to buy clothing items from local retail stores, use them and after a few wears, return the items for partial store credit. The business model was based on Whiffen’s experience in the automobile industry with used cars. Following her first few years in the business, Whiffen had to make some decisions around engaging clients on two sides – retailers and consumers. How can an innovative startup leverage behavioral science to persuade multiple stakeholders?

Expected learning outcomes

• Learn marketing concepts in material and a tech platform featuring a female protagonist and team; • practice evaluating a product and capturing value using behavioral science; • understand consumer/business biases and practice forming and delivering a persuasive message; • learn to leverage and create new insights to aid behavior change in business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) contexts; • analyze behavioral insights to identify new opportunities in a competitive marketplace; • unfold a framework to explore consumer motivation in recommerce; and • explore the use of experimentation in changing consumer behavior and improving decision-making.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.

Social implications

Females need to be represented in core business education curriculum such as data analysis in addition to classes focused on social equity and business. This all female executive team pursued an innovative process built on a technology platform using a data-driven model to gain enterprise clients. The material offers an opportunity to explore sustainability.

Subject code

CSS 8: Marketing



Anik, L., Yemen, G. and Mittal, A. (2021), "Rohvi", .



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Gerry Yemen, Lalin Anik and Aerika Mittal.

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