TomTom: Mapping the Course from B2C to B2B


The Dutch firm TomTom was founded in 1991 as a small software development company in the B2B market. At the turn of the century, TomTom started to focus on digital mapping and GPS navigation, which resulted in the world's first Portable Navigation Device (PND) for the mass market. In just three years, TomTom grew to become a billion euro a year company. The introduction of the iPhone and of Google's free mapping and navigation services in the 2000s however disrupted the market. TomTom had to diversify into telematics and 'location technology' where it sold and licensed its software to the automotive industry and to tech companies. In the second half of 2018, TomTom was in the process of winding down its PND business. After nearly 30 years of evolution, TomTom had returned to its root and was seeing itself once again as a B2B company. Thanks to the success of the PND, TomTom had created a strong consumer brand that was still imprinted in people's mind as being about fun and ease of use. But now TomTom had to find new ways to communicate with its business customers and showcase its advanced technologies. How could TomTom best do that?

Web Version of this case study can be found on

Citation Note

Based on field research; 36 pages.

Follow the 'handle' link to access the Case Study on RePub.

For EUR staff members: the Teaching Note is available on request, you can contact us at

For external users: follow the link to purchase the Case Study and the Teaching Note.


1. Acquire a deep understanding of how brands need to be managed over time. 2. Understand both differences and similarities between B2B and B2C marketing. 3. Understand how and under which circumstances B2C-oriented brand associations can contribute to success in B2B settings. 4. Understand how to change a strongly-embedded brand identity, with both internal and external stakeholders, from the B2C to the B2B domain. 5. Understand the challenges posed by ‘Big Bang Disruptors’, which come with shark-fin models of new product adoption. 6. Weigh the strategic options available to companies competing with tech giants like Google.