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 roots 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?
After discussing the case, students should be able to:
This case is suitable for MBA, EMBA and other Master or executive-level students in marketing, branding and innovation. Because the case articulates a strategic vision of branding, it is also suitable for people with an interest in consulting and general management.
Marketing; branding; innovation; disruption; technology; automotive; navigation; B2B; Google; self-driving cars; autonomous driving.
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