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Digitally-powered Customer-centricity in the Industrial Gas Sector: The Air Liquide-Airgas Merger

Published 25 Mar 2019
Reference 6446
Topic Marketing
Industry Oil & Energy
Region Global
Length 16 page(s)
Language English
Prizes & Awards

Winner of the Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2024 in the Category 'Marketing'

Winner 2019 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Hidden Champions Category


Air Liquide, a leader in centric industrial and healthcare gases, seeks to develop ‘customer intimacy’ through digital technologies following its acquisition of US company Airgas. VP Olivier Blachier is tasked to articulate for the board a vision of customer centricity and a digital strategy. First he must unpack the type of relationships that they each have with their core customer segments, and then select approporate digital technology – from AI to big data, social media or robotics – for small, mid-size and large customers respectively. New organizational structure are needed to support the group’s digital transformation, foster agility in a fast-paced environment and and turn Air Liquide into a learning agent.
A teaching note supplement with short recommendations for remote teaching of the case is available.

Teaching objectives

The following issues can be pursued individually or in combination: 1) How can companies create value through customer-centricity? 2) How can brands create a competitive advantage by aligning their level of digital maturity with that of their customers? 3) How do digital technologies affect the nature of relationships between B2B companies and their customers? 4) How to match digital technologies to specific customers/customer relationships and design a digital strategy to become more customer-centric 5) How large B2B organizations leverage big data to generate new customer insights and achieve a customer-centric transformation.

  • B2B marketing
  • digital strategy
  • digital transformation
  • customer centricity
  • customer digital maturity
  • customer relationship
  • customer intimacy
  • marketing strategy
  • digital technologies
  • social media
  • gamification
  • big data
  • competitive advantage
  • digital organisation
  • Air Liquide
  • industrial gases
  • Q31819
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