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Direct marketing strategies crafting your farm story SSAWG2018

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What makes your farm stand out? What is it about your farm that connects with consumers or buyers? No matter where you sell, communicating your farm story is critical for success in local markets and for tapping into consumer demand for authenticity. Learn more about key components to include in your story and work with facilitator to begin crafting or to further hone your own farm story.

Molly Nicholie, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (NC)

Saturday, Jan 20th, 2018

Published in: Marketing
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Direct marketing strategies crafting your farm story SSAWG2018

  1. 1. Direct Marketing Strategies: Crafting your Farm Story Molly Nicholie
  2. 2. Mission - Our mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. Vision - Our vision is of strong farms, thriving local food economies, and healthy communities where farming is valued as central to our heritage and our future.
  3. 3. Local Food Campaign
  4. 4. Training and Technical Assistance
  5. 5. Directing Demand + Making Connections
  6. 6. Defining Local
  7. 7. Branding + Bulk Purchasing
  8. 8. Local food has made the next great leap. Local is now an established part of the U.S. food market—and it is still growing. –AT Kearney, Firmly Rooted, the Local Food Market Expands
  9. 9. Growth in Local Farms and Markets Data from ASAP’s Local Food Guide
  10. 10. 2017 Consumer Food Trends Local in high demand 56% of respondents...said they felt strongly about keeping their food dollars within their own community. –The Packer, Fresh Trends 2016 Consumers value experiences For today’s consumers, food is now a cultural product to discover, share, make and trade. This reconnection with food and its origins is encouraging a new level of participation. –Hartman Group, The Consumer-Driven Redefinition of Quality in Food Culture Transparency is on the rise Today’s shoppers are very educated and seek out product attributes important to their lifestyles and beliefs, from food origin and transparency to freshness, ingredients and health attribute. –Progressive Grocer, What's in Store 2017
  11. 11. A few years ago, merely offering local food was a differentiator. Today, participation is table stakes—and excelling at it is the way to stand out. –AT Kearney, Firmly Rooted, the Local Food Market Expands
  12. 12. KEY LOCAL FOOD TRENDS: ◻ Consumers are looking for authenticity ◻ Consumers are skeptical of marketing claims ◻ The market for locally grown food continues to grow
  13. 13. RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES FOR FARMERS: ◻ Connect Directly with the public ◻ Tell your farm’s story ◻ Communicate your farm’s practices ◻ Label your product /Branding ◻ Diversify your product base ◻ Diversify your market mix
  14. 14. CONNECT DIRECTLY WITH THE PUBLIC:TARGETED MARKETING ⦿ Most of us do not have mass markets ⦿ Do not try to market to everyone ⦿ Sell your product to “one person”
  15. 15. Who are your customers? What values drive their purchasing?
  16. 16. WHY STORYTELLING Big box stores often dilute terms and ideas such as “local” and “sustainable”, “community” with their branding. Compared to these big corporations, your message and story is authentic, so tell it. A story can have a powerful effect on an individual.
  17. 17. STORYTELLING IS A TOOL FOR... ...Establishing yourself in people’s memories. Stories help customers remember you and your farm.
  18. 18. HOW WORD OF MOUTH REALLY WORKS I heard it from a friend Then I saw your sign Then I saw your rack card Then I saw an article in the paper That reminded me to call you
  19. 19. STORYTELLING IS A TOOL FOR... ...Inspiring customer commitment. When customers feel connected to your story, they are far more likely to remain loyal, buying from you again and again.
  20. 20. Connect With Your Customers –Food Navigator, Authenticity, Emotional Connection, Sell Brands Better Than Free-From Claims, Foodmix Survey Finds A brand’s values and ‘personality traits’ are what make consumers fall in love.
  21. 21. Craft Your Farm Story Consumers are making their food decisions based on where and how their foods are made, grown, raised, and by whom. –Forbes, The Food Trends That Will Shape 2017
  22. 22. ● A good story should be clear. ● The story must have a connections to people’s lives and be compelling. ● Stories have pre-decided plots as opposed to a random series of events, including a beginning, middle and end. ● The outcome of the main character’s situation, showing how the problem is resolved or has been overcome ● Clarity is king. Good stories don’t happen by accident
  23. 23. Who is your audience and what values are you trying to connect with? What is your goal/purpose? Craft your story to direct people to take action...come to your farm for U-pick, try a new product, buy a CSA h towards them. Come up with examples of real people
  24. 24. ENGAGING YOUR AUDIENCE Offer props (picture, artifact, video) for your audience to interact with. Can you imagine? Have you ever? Would you like to?  
  25. 25. OWNING YOUR STORY Story must first engage YOU Transfer your emotion to the your audience Experiences = working with people, giving a gift that transforms, hearing a story that touched you What resonates with you?
  26. 26. Crafting Your Farm Story ● Create a clear, straightforward story that can be adapted for audience and time ● What to include: ○ Who you are/your connection to place ○ Why you farm ○ Challenge/barrier - Engages your audience ○ Action/Resolution -Connects your audience emotionally ○ Meaning/upshot/take home -What difference are you making? Why does what you do matter? What makes you different? Stories influence how we decide. Our decisions and actions are often based more on emotional reactions than rational thought.
  27. 27. Crafting Your Farm Story Who (or what) is the “hero” or main character in your story? You, your family, your farm personified?
  28. 28. Crafting Your Farm Story What is your Vision? Why do you want to do this? Was there a “moment of change” or something that happened to make you want to do this thing?
  29. 29. Crafting Your Farm Story What is the obstacle or barrier for the main character? What did you have to do/overcome to be able to farm/own land/support yourself/make this decision?
  30. 30. Crafting Your Farm Story How did you overcome your barrier? What was the resolution? How did your vision emerge?
  31. 31. Crafting Your Farm Story Why does it matter? What is the moral? What makes you different? Why does what you do matter?
  32. 32. Craft Your Farm Story
  33. 33. Building Blocks of Story ● Hero/Protagonist (Who?) - you, your family, your farm personified. ● Vision/Moment of Change (Why?) - Why do you want to do this? What happened to make you want to do this thing? ● Barrier/Struggle/Context (What?) - What did you have to do/overcome to be able to farm/own land/support yourself/make this decision? ● Resolution/Action (How?) - How did you overcome your barrier? How did your vision emerge? ● Moral/Upshot/Take Home (Why it matters) - What difference are you making? Why does what you do matter? What makes you different?
  34. 34. Share
  35. 35. RULES TO REMEMBER • Stories must be about the impact your farming experience has in the community. • Have a personal connection to the story you are telling. • Know why you are telling the story. • Start your story by connecting with your audience first. • The main character should be hero – you, your family, your farm • Use barrier/struggles to drive the story. • Include only details that move the story along. • Practice telling your story. • Tell you story with passion.
  36. 36. NEXT STEP: SHARING YOUR FARM STORY Branding: Develop a farm identity
  37. 37. Molly Nicholie molly@asapconnections.org 828.236.1282 ext 111

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