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Communications: Plant Brand Position, Grow Brand Loyalty, Reap Benefits

Over the past 10 years, we have watched the landscape of the seed industry grow and shift from an emphasis on product research to market research. While the phrase “market research” has the tendency to overwhelm many, understanding what it is and why it’s important can help relieve marketplace tensions plus often-associated brand clutter and prepare your company to reap the results you want.

In order to stand out from the competition, it is imperative that your seed company have a strategic marketing plan to meet the needs and wants of your customers. Seed companies looking to break through the advertising and brand clutter must identify target audiences, understand the current and future needs of those audiences, have a clear understanding of how to reach those audiences, and create and implement a marketing communications plan to those audiences with consistency and enthusiasm.

Small- to mid-sized companies must take this a step further and work harder to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. In doing so, you can create and implement a communications plan to effectively buoy your business plan. Executives often neglect to determine the unique benefits their companies offer versus the competition. Remember to pinpoint these benefits and use them to your company’s advantage.

Branding your company attractively involves shaping the way your customers perceive your company, your product and your people. Reinforcing the brand position with consistent messaging across sales, marketing, research, human resources and other divisions is key. The customer perception of the brand is the brand, and your company must learn to live that brand daily. Ask yourself, what are my company’s core values? How do I want my company to been seen? What are we doing as a company to make sure that our key messages are received, accepted and valued? These questions will guide you in identifying, developing, differentiating and sustaining your company’s brand.

To gain more insight into strategically mapping out your company’s marketing plan, industry groups such as the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) and publications such as Agri-Marketing are great resources. They can help you and your team gain a fresh outlook on the world of agri-marketing through networking with professionals in the industry and learning from the experts.

The executive resources at Finding Black Ink have the career experiences needed to aid agribusiness executives with the development of an actionable marketing communications plan. The core philosophies that guide Finding Black Ink’s experts align with the factors today’s CEOs consider daily: objectivity, creativity, integrity, collaboration, and, perhaps most importantly, market understanding. With Finding Black Ink, you’ll find a fresh and beneficial perspective on achieving your company’s business priorities.

Want Craig’s insights into effective communications that support profitable business objectives? Reach him here.

About Craig Newman

Craig Newman retired as president and CEO of AgReliant Genetics, the third-largest corn seed company in the U.S.; he also served the company for 12 years as its vice president of sales and marketing. A 30+-year veteran of the seed industry, Craig also worked for Akin Seed Co., Callahan Seeds and AgriGold Hybrids, before the company became a division of AgReliant Genetics in 2000. Craig is a past chairman and a past Central Region vice president of the American Seed Trade Association Board of Directors, as well as a past president of the Illinois Seed Dealers Association. A graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management, Craig was also sales manager for Procter & Gamble.

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