Case Centre Award 2020
Case Centre Award 2020

A multimedia B2B teaching case developed by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) won the prestigious Case Centre’s Outstanding Case Writer competition award. The TomTom: Mapping the Course from B2C to B2B case covers how the a portable navigation device firm needs to re-establish itself as a navigation software provider to the automotive industry, while competing with tech giants like Google in this fast-changing B2B market. It showcases advancing female diversity in case protagonists – and notably, in the tech sector.

The Case Centre is dedicated to advancing the case method worldwide, sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience to inspire and transform business education across the globe. It is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity, with offices in the UK and USA.

More than ‘just a cool story’

The Case Centre Awards and Competitions have been presented annually since 1991 and are referred to as the case method community’s annual ‘Oscars’. These coveted accolades recognise worldwide excellence in case writing and teaching and help to further raise the profile of the case method. RSM’s case won the award in the category Outstanding Case Writer 2020.

“We are of course over the moon. It’s a great achievement for our Case Development Centre and can hopefully serve as an example for future cases and writers,” says Prof. Steven Sweldens, who co-wrote the case. He said the message is that you need more than ‘just a cool story’. “A good case needs a lot of additional effort, for example by generating a lot of supporting materials. That’s really the only way case writing can be worth it and generate a return.”

This case shows how important it is to have a close collaboration between faculty, case writer, and company, says Tao Yue, managing editor and senior case writer at RSM. She said the idea for the case came from an Executive MBA student’s in-company report. Professors Steven Sweldens and Stefano Puntoni recognised its value, got in touch with the RSM Case Development Centre, and together started developing the case. “Without everyone's contribution, the case would never have been a prizewinner,” Tao Yue said.

From B2C to B2B marketing

The TomTom case covers the differences and similarities between B2B and B2C marketing, and how and under which circumstances B2C-oriented brand associations can contribute to success in B2B settings.

Students also explore how to change a strongly embedded brand identity of the portable navigation device TomTom, with both internal and external stakeholders, from the B2C to the B2B domain. And they will learn the challenges posed by ‘big bang disruptors’, which come with shark-fin models of new product adoption.

Female protagonist

The case also gives learners the opportunity to weigh the strategic options available to companies competing with tech giants such as Google. As one of the few cases, it features a female protagonist – the senior female leader and one of the founders of the tech company, in a sector notorious for having a big diversity problem. All in all, students will acquire a deep understanding of how brands need to be managed over time.

The web-supported, multi-source marketing case about TomTom’s journey from B2C to B2B was developed by Prof. Steven Sweldens and Prof. Stefano Puntoni in collaboration with Tao Yue and Niela Kleinsmith from RSM’s Case Development Centre as well as Matthieu Campion from TomTom.

Rich multimedia support

The TomTom case is supplemented with a website full of rich supporting multimedia materials. The multi-source case includes videos, an executive summary, teaching cases and notes, a PowerPoint presentation, and video supplements and interviews with TomTom’s senior management.

It’s suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses, including MBA programmes and other master or executive-level students in marketing, branding and innovation. INSEAD Business School is implementing the case in its MBA’s brand management elective. And as the case articulates a strategic vision of branding, it is also appropriate for people with an interest in consulting and general management.

More information

RSM’s Case Development Centre

Business students, and even seasoned business experts, can learn from the experiences of other real-life organisations and decision-makers. The Case Development Centre (CDC) at RSM supports case-based management education by turning exceptional business and management experiences into powerful learning tools. CDC connects world-class research, education and business by developing high-quality case studies.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at


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