Does this ring any bells?… You pick up a menu, but you don’t get as far as looking at the enticing meal options as the first thing you notice is that the menu is stained with traces of dried food from previous diners.
The image that you form and the emotions that you feel are exactly the same when you come into contact with brands, and sometimes it’s just as negative too! Has anyone got anything good to say about a train company?
But the best brands have a purpose and they have a personality, they breed loyalty and they have value. Think about Barbour, think about Land Rover, think about John Deere, and then think about the premium price they can charge because of the properties which are invested in those brands.
But don’t ever think that this is unattainable or just for the big boys.
An effective and attractive brand is useful in so many ways for rural businesses in the UK, one of PressPoint’s clients is using the brand we created as a signpost to its quality, and to successfully sell their products into the regional arm of a major multiple retailer. In effect, his brand has opened the door to a whole new revenue stream. The retailer really bought into the brand and into the product, and the results are now on its shelves. It’s stories like these which emphasise the need for rural businesses to take their branding much more seriously.
When it comes to thinking about your brand, start at the very beginning. What drove you, or the founders of the business, to start the business? Of course time moves on and businesses change and adapt all the time, but the reasons behind the formation of the business are often at the root of what a business should stand for today.
Our client Allen & Page was founded as a limited company in 1936 but had been producing and selling feeds for a number of years prior to that. Their commitment to only using the highest quality ingredients in the feed they produce, to ensure healthy and happy animals, is as strong today as it has ever been.
Animal nutrition has changed immeasurably since Allen & Page started manufacturing its feed and the company has kept on innovating to stay ahead of the competition, but each time they have developed or improved a product they have endeavoured to keep it as natural and wholesome as it can be.
Their feed products today contain no GM ingredients, no animal by-products and are manufactured in a drug-free mill. Whilst other feed companies have fallen by the wayside in terms of the composition of their feed, Allen & Page has gained and maintained its accreditation from the major food production and quality control organisations for their feeds, including the Soil Association, the Vegetarian Society and ISO.
This highly ethical stance underpins everything they do – from the way they do business, to their team of animal nutritionists who are meeting people every day and giving people truly unbiased advice on how and what to feed their animals.
So when we create anything for Allen & Page; an advertising campaign, a product launch, a website or even a humble leaflet we understand that whatever we do create, must be true to Allen & Page’s core principles and crucially, convey to the audience that Allen & Page are still true to its own principles.
We like to think that if the founding fathers of Allen & Page could see their business today, they would very proud of the brand which has been created from the ethos they instilled all those years ago.
Whether you’re looking at your brand for the first time or looking to bring it up-to-date, don’t get too caught up in the marketing speak we agencies use as shorthand for common sense marketing principles. In future blogs we’ll attempt to demistify the jargon which surrounds branding for rural businesses and give you some hints and tips to help you understand how you can create a successful rural brand.