BtoB's Best Marketers: Mike Kolleth, Dow Chemical Co.

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Last year Dow Chemical Co. launched a major campaign, “Solutionism. The New Optimism,” created by Draftfcb, Chicago, and using TV, print and online. This year, it drove that message home with a continued campaign rollout and a push to create a unified visual brand worldwide, comprising everything from Web pages to the corporate brand. “We believe there's tremendous untapped value in that global consistency,” said Mike Kolleth, senior director-corporate brand and advertising at Dow. And while most companies strive for that visual synergy, he said, “it's a challenge to do something like that well.” The “Solutionism” campaign shows off the breadth of solution-based services and products that Dow offers through recent acquisitions such as Rohm and Haas, a creator of specialty chemicals and advanced materials. A new crop of “Solutionism”-branded ads are in the works for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, for which Dow will be the official chemistry company. Its involvement includes providing piping insulation and wire and cable coatings for event facilities as well as partnering with the U.S. luge team to build new and improved sleds. Kolleth said Dow plans an integrated social media campaign for Sochi, similar to the one it used for the 2012 London Summer Games that led to a “significant” increase in brand awareness in the U.K. Through its London social media push, it attracted 4,000 new Twitter followers and generated 3.5 million views of Facebook posts. “Social media will be critical,” Kolleth said of the program planned for Sochi. Dow is also working closely with the Sochi Organizing Committee as the official carbon partner to help mitigate the event's carbon footprint through its sustainability expertise and energy-efficient construction materials. Dow increasingly is reaching its users through apps, including business sector-specific ones. For example, the Woody Weed Control App from its AgroSciences unit helps customers identify weeds and then gives herbicide application instructions. “It's a great way to connect with your customers,” Kolleth said.
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