Case study

Reference: IMD-5-0702

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Xiameter: The past and future of a "disruptive innovation"

By Emeritus Professor Kamran Kashani and Inna Francis

The case study is about a successful strategy formulated at Dow Corning for marketing commodity silicones, a chemical used in diverse applications. It deals with important issues in B2B marketing: refocusing on user needs and developing a "needs-based" segmentation of industrial customers; bundling and de-bundling of technical services; branding of commodity chemicals; web-based low price/no-frills value proposition; making money with commodities. The case also describes a "tipping point" in Dow Corning's history and strategy where their leadership in the silicone business was at stake; management had to chart radically new ways to compete in commoditized markets--what they call their "disruptive innovation". At the end the students are asked to look at the success of Xiameter (the company’s web-based brand) and decide its future. The choices are: maintain status quo; incrementally fine tune the strategy; go for a major overhaul.

Learning Objective

The Xiameter case can be used to: 1) show an example of using customer insights in successfully re-defining business and marketing strategies; 2) address issues of segmentation, value proposition and branding in industrial marketing; 3) demonstrate how two contrasting value propositions could be offered to industrial customers under different brands; 4) discuss value innovation in B2B markets ; 5) examine and analyze elements of a successful web-based business model; 6) learn how adversity can challenge an organization to re-define its business and marketing strategies for future success.
KeywordsDual Branding, eCommerce, Industrial Segmentation, Marketing
SettingsGlobal
2001-2006
TypeField Research
Copyright©2006
Available LanguagesEnglish, Spanish
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Reference: IMD-5-0702

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Case study

Reference: IMD-5-0702

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