The industry is complicated with a significant amount of inter-trading. Some companies make base chemicals; some make intermediate chemicals; and some fine chemicals, while formulators buy the chemicals and create proprietary products. In this highly complex vertical, it’s vital you work with the right market research company.
All the work we carry out is in business to business markets. Most is for companies that sell undifferentiated products and who want to capture more value. These are very often some of the largest chemical companies in the world whose skills are processing and manufacturing and not marketing. Their aim is nearly always to fill the mill. Some of them have yet to discover that an investment in market intelligence and customer value creation is a crucial first step in changing the production orientated paradigm.
At B2B International, we have carried out countless projects in the chemicals vertical - from olefins and aromatics through to polyethylene, polypropylene, epoxies and polyurethanes, we have studied many wide and diverse chemical markets throughout the world.
The studies we have carried out cover almost every conceivable aspect of the marketing mix. We have researched the markets for new products, assessed optimum prices, looked at opportunities for different types of packaging, determined the best channel to market, evaluated different promotions, and carried out dozens of market entry research studies, not to mention the wide array of customer loyalty studies we carry out for clients in the chemical sector.
The chemical industry is long established and, like any mature market, many of its products have become commoditised. That is why it is vital that chemicals market research finds ways of adding value. This could mean wrapping value-added services to the product; it will certainly mean ensuring extremely high levels of customer satisfaction; or it may mean using interesting ways of segmenting customers – not just by size or geography.
One of our clients, a world leader in the supply of catalysts for the polyurethane industry, commissioned us to carry out a b2b market segmentation study so the company could better meet the needs of its customers.
Using segmentation, we were able to identify companies with significantly different needs, such as: the “differentiators” who were seeking products that would make their own output distinguished and different; “optimisers” who very concerned about improving the efficiency of their processors; and the “self-sufficient” who simply were interested in buying the product and being left to get on with using it.
Our chemicals market research enabled the client to build up a customer-focused sales force that asked questions about needs and how they could be satisfied rather than simply pushing products onto the market.