Opinions, best practices and research into B2B marketing strategy and practices

Were Dupont and Danisco right all along?

We’re fascinated by the idea that, for many knowledge-intensive companies, the change in the way B2B buyers evaluate solutions and brands opens up an opportunity to marry the company’s brand much closer to its essential DNA. An example may serve to clarify the point: that of Danisco A/S, a large Danish-based manufacturer of food ingredients that was recently acquired by Dupont, Inc. and now is part of of Dupont Danisco Nutrition & Health.

According to Danisco’s management—and confirmed by a 2011 customer survey—one of the key reasons behind the company’s successful track record of growth and profitability over the years has been the attitude and skills of its people. That may sound like propaganda, but it does, in fact, seem that the hundreds of scientists and application experts working closely with the company’s customers to solve problems, devise new recipes, and refine existing formulae have delivered a high-quality customer experience that has built Danisco’s business. In any case, the success cannot be attributed to a powerful marketing machine since, somewhat like its new American parent, Danisco was never particularly focused on telling the industry how good it was, preferring to place its bets on science, application knowledge and what its customers have described as “approachability”. That’s all the stuff you usually read about in flamboyant corporate claims—except that making such claims hasn’t been Danisco’s style. Like many knowledge-intensive companies, especially the scientifically based variety, people are cautious about overstating capabilities—sometimes too cautious.

Branding a company like the former Danisco, then, isn’t a matter of sending in an Armani-suited, glass-officed team of advertising agency front men who pay lip service to the company’s essential way of being, then charge the earth to create a highly polished store window with little connection to reality. Instead, it’s more about bringing real people from the company out into the open with their expertise, their opinions, and their passions to simply scale up the essence of the company so that it can reach a much larger audience. And that’s what a Three Voices™ strategy can help with.

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Jonathan Winch

I’m Jonathan Winch, partner at cylindr and BBN International and a B2B marketing enthusiast. I've participated as a strategic and creative resource in the marketing and communication sphere for over 25 years, making contributions to the strategies and communications of companies of all sizes, the best known of which include Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Danisco, GN ReSound, Hempel, Nokia Siemens Networks, LEGO, Coloplast, and Johnson & Johnson. My mission? To help B2B companies make the most of the value they create for the world. My hobby: Nutritional science, particularly sports nutrition.