By Andrew Dalglish - 27th April 2011
I’m of the opinion that every car glove box should contain, as standard, boiled sweets. Some opt for the classic travel tin but I prefer a bag of Fox’s Glacier Mints. I like the taste, but I like the idea more. That in my little glove box sits an icon; a brand that’s part of our cultural fabric.
Here’s some Glacier Mint trivia. The polar bear mascot is called Peppy, they contain only the purest sugar (impurities turn the clear cubes pink) and they’re full of B2B marketers. Hold on. Glacier Mint, the FMCG brand, is full of B2B marketers. Yes, you might not see them on the ingredients panel but they’re there in every packet. Armies of them.
Marketers that represent suppliers of machinery to equip the factory, energy to power the production line, raw ingredients to be transformed, packaging to keep the product fresh and logistics to deliver them to the customer. Beyond the factory floor and we find dozens more B2B relationships. Accountants, insurers, IT consultants and so on. Fox’s are a bit shy about the exact number but an educated guess suggests that they have at least 100 suppliers.
That’s just the tip of Peppy’s iceberg. Each one of these B2B marketers works for an organisation with its own suppliers. Take just one ingredient – sugar. This supplier has relationships with refiners, currency traders and shippers to name but a few. In fact, Fox’s sugar supplier has 11 suppliers of its own directly involved in providing a service to Fox’s. Taking this as the norm, it means 1,100 B2B interactions have gone into a Glacier Mint and we’re only two steps back from the retailer. Beyond that the numbers are mind boggling. The sugar supplier buys from the refiner. The refiner from the farming co-operative. The co-operative from the agricultural machinery dealer. Now we’re five steps back and following just one branch. In reality there are dozens of branches creating exponential growth at each step.
All in all, there are hundreds of thousands of B2B marketers in that one mint. That should make us proud. Rather than being the poor cousin of B2C as some claim; B2B is actually the mother.
Find out more about Circle Research’s B2B research services here.
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Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.