BASF in China: the Marketing of Styropor®

BASF is a multi-national producer of petro-chemicals that has enjoyed a comfortable, well-padded history of success in the packaging industry. The company’s product Styropor®, one of the few branded chemicals on the market, is a commodity – somewhat like Lycra®. The authors explain BASF’s problem in this case study: since Styropor®, by nature, costs more than similar products produced locally in China, it needs to differentiate its brand. The challenge is to counterbalance Styropor®’s cost disadvantage with a new positioning strategy for BASF to allow it to expand within an oversupplied, competitive market.

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