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Prize winner
Subject category: Marketing
Published by:
IMD (2006)
21 pages
Data source:
Field research


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.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.


Marketing industrial commodities; Strategic innovation; e-Commerce; Industrial segmentation; Dual branding


The events covered by this item took place in 2001-2006.

Geographical setting


Featured company

Company name:
Dow Corning Corporation
USD 4 billion

Featured protagonist

  • Ron Fillmore (male), Executive Director

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