Almost as soon as consumers heard the brand name "Tom Tom", they remembered it as a navigational solution. However, most consumers around the globe only learned about Tom Tom when the company was more than ten years old. This was when the first television commercials for the voice activated device hit the airwaves. Since then, millions of consumers have invested in these remarkably feature-rich devices.
Though some have purchased them for the novelty of the different "voices" that the devices might use, most have turned to a Tom Tom navigational component because of its impressive array of technology and features.
The evolution of the firm is interesting, and is a good illustration of innovation and clever use of the latest "tech".
Back in 1991, many people had "PDAs" or personal digital assistants. These were remarkable devices for the time and were packed with different software and functions. Tom Tom was one of the first to offer navigational applications for PDAs, and this quickly transitioned into software that could be used for "in-car navigation". In other words, your PDA (which already came with you wherever you traveled) could be put to use to navigate your way from point a to point b, and so on. Until the widespread availability of high speed wireless service, this was a profound asset to frequent travelers.
By the time the firm was a decade old it was able to provide the broad consumer market with an affordable navigational system. This rapidly evolved into the demand for an all-in-one device (rather than a PDA mounted into a special clip on a car or truck's dashboard). That led to the Tom Tom GO, which was "affordable and accessible to everyone and became the fastest selling consumer technology device ever, reaching one million sales faster than the introduction of the mobile phone." (TomTom, 2014)
From the release of the Tom Tom Go in 2004, the company has sold more than seventy million devices in more than 35 different countries. Naturally, as technologies have improved the devices and options offered through Tom Tom have, as well. Today, buyers can also purchase:
* In-dash systems for cars and trucks
* TomTom Telematics
* GPS Sports Watches
It has also become the primary mapping data provider for the Apple Company's iOS 6. The company has also established a massive network of probes that contribute to the traffic service available through the units. This means that the vast majority of automotive operators around the globe are using some of Tom Tom's navigation software or components at any given time.
The company has been able to expand in this way through a few acquisitions that have included the purchase of:
* Datafactory AG
* Applied Generics
* Tele Atlas (the largest digital mapping service in the world)
Interestingly enough, although the firm has sold more than 70 million PNDs since 2004, the original owners remain involved in the operations of the firm. With roughly 3600 employees, the company keeps a firm hold on growth and follows a responsible business model that emphasizes corporate social responsibility.
Tom Tom is a major global entity, and it puts a lot of weight on "good business". Believing that responsible business is the key to doing good business, it has a three prong approach to CSR
* Community giving
* Environmental impact
* Supply chain management
To succeed in these goals, the company regularly gives away PNDs (over 2k in 2013 alone) in areas where disaster or charitable community care requires assistance in navigation. The company also promotes charitable giving in all of its offices around the globe, and nurtures employee charitable giving activities too.
Today, the business is divided into four primary units: consumer, licensing, automotive, and telematics. In each of them the environmental and supply chain initiatives apply. Though the company admits that it does not take active steps to reduce its own environmental impact (per office), it does state that "our portable navigation devices enable motorists to drive safely, save fuel and use time efficiently. All of these elements help our customers improve the environment" (TomTom, 2014). This is a simple truth, and since its inception over twenty years ago, Tom Tom has made travel and navigation easier and more efficient.
TomTom.com. History. TomTom.com. 2014. http://corporate.tomtom.com/history.cfm