INSEAD the business school for the world

Selected Case

published: 30 Jul 2014

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals
  • Region: North America

The introduction of a new class of persistent herbicides is anticipated by DuPont as a game-changer for the firm and its customers. Instead, the product creates unforeseen damage to vegetation. The mobilisation of the customer base soon extends to the general public and regulators, leading to withdrawal of the product and ultimately the sale of the DuPont business unit concerned.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Participants will learn that in the age of stakeholder-controlled media, the classic means of customer engagement are inadequate. Power has shifted from the firm to the customer, particularly in a B2B setting. The vehicle for this shift, the online forum, remains poorly understod and utilised by most firms. Participants will see that customer power can destroy entire business units.

E.i. Dupont Nemours & Co.,, Online Forums, Stakeholder Media, Crisis Communication, Herbicide, Environmental Protection Agency, News Media, Lawnsite, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability