Innovative Marketing or Greenwashing?

Posted in: Innovation, Marketing 101, Precision Ag on June 26, 2012

Technology has revolutionized nearly every facet of agricultural production over the past few decades, but the average consumer's image of agriculture has not changed with the times. Say "farmer," and the average grocery shopper in a suburban supermarket will likely have images of her grandfather's farm with a red barn, 80 acres and a few pigs, complete with roaming cows and chickens. But from precision…

Yellow Fail?

Posted in: Lessons Learned, Marketing 101, Trends & Perspective on June 26, 2012

It sounded like a great idea. Make a $100,000 donation to a charity that helps animals, give the program a fun name consistent with your brand, and tie it all together with a social media and point-of-purchase marketing program. A recipe for success, right? But … somehow it all went wrong.

Bette Davis and the Turbulent Agriculture Industry

Posted in: Lessons Learned, Supply Chain & Logistics, Trends & Perspective on June 26, 2012

When Bette Davis' uttered that famous movie line back in the 1950s, "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night!" who knew those words would someday hold such relevance to modern-day agribusiness and the supply chains that keep it running. Only instead of a bumpy night, it's been an exceedingly bumpy year — with underlying factors bubbling up to throw the industry into a series of exuberant…

Who Moved My Tomato?

Posted in: Lessons Learned, Trends & Perspective on June 26, 2012

The author of Who Moved My Cheese? used a parable about mice and men hunting cheese to illustrate his points about anticipating, monitoring and adapting to change. How does this relate to ag? Unnoticed by many, the location of food production is beginning a change, albeit a still-small change. As the local food movement gains momentum and media coverage, it is also gaining economic power, and the farmers…

Here’s to a Holiday that Works

Posted in: Market Research on June 26, 2012

Let's create a new national holiday that really makes a difference—"National Talk to a Farmer Day." Its purpose? Talking to your customers to find out what's on their minds, what they're excited about, worried about and planning for the next few years. Ask for their opinions on your products, service and competitors. Most importantly, ask what you can do to better serve their needs.

Jimmy Buffett: Schoolmaster for Agribusiness?

Posted in: Lessons Learned, Marketing 101 on June 26, 2012

Imagine what school would be like with Jimmy Buffett at the helm: Flip flops as part of a required dress code, margaritas and sponge cake for lunch, and spring break year-round. But seriously, we can all learn a lot about positioning food and ag products from Jimmy's successes and missteps. After all, he's not really a great singer; for most of his career he's had only one Billboard Top 10 hit, "Margaritaville."…

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