Dow Corning jumped into unchartered waters back in 2002 with the launch of its Xiameter brand. Designed as an affordable way for the company's customers to buy standard silicones online, the business model was the first of its kind in the chemical industry. In 2009, the company revamped the model to offer more services to cater to more customer needs - making it something of an Amazon.com) for silicones.
Now that all Xiameter products can only be purchased via the website, many of the company's customers have to rethink the way they do business. Brandi Schuster spoke with European President and Xiameter Commercial Director Europe Klaus Hoffmann at the recent Handelsblatt Chemie 2010 conference about the relaunch and the kind of adaptations necessary for both the company and its customers.
CHEManager Europe: What exactly is the difference now between the 2002 model and the relaunch that happened in 2009?
K. Hoffmann: To put it simply, the 2002 Xiameter model didn't have a strong link to the Dow Corning brand, and it was focused on high volume and customers for whom a deciding factor was price - we call them price seekers. Plus, all of the products we offered were available both under the Xiameter and Dow Corning brands.