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Farm brands: How to use the Asda-Sainsbury's merger to your advantage

Suppliers may be nervous about the prospects of an Asda-Sainsbury’s merger, but Arthey Associates’ Amy Woolliscroft spoke to Alex Black about why it should be seen as an opportunity.


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Farm brands: How to use the Asda-Sainsbury's merger to your advantage

British producers need to look at the latest supermarket shake-up as an opportunity to review their brand strategy, according to farm business consultants Arthey Associates’ marketing executive Amy Woolliscroft.

 

After news of an Asda-Sainsbury’s merger broke, with promises of 10 per cent price drops, alarm bells rang across the industry.

 

But Ms Woolliscroft told Farmers Guardian producers need to look at a growing market of consumers ‘for whom value means more than just the lowest price’.

 

“Diversification in farming is nothing new and this latest talk of mergers could be an opportune time for farmers to be proactive in marketing the added value of British farm-based brands to a swelling number of shoppers turned off by the supermarket monopolies and their price-over-quality focus,” she said.


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She added the growing trends of veganism and organic food and its influence on social media was encouraging increasing numbers of the public to hold their food to account.

 

These people were looking to showcase to their peers they were buying ‘respected and responsible’ brands.

She said many farmers could already say provenance, animal welfare and environmental credentials were at the core of their business, and this could form a strategy to add value.

 

And with recent Ofcom research showing British adults spend an average of a whole day each week online, the opportunities to showcase your brand with its responsible and trendy values is better than ever.

How to formulate a believable brand

 

Identify what makes the brand stand out

  • Decide which values should be communicated
  • Look at it from an outsiders’ perspective – what may seem like an everyday part of farming could be a successful marketing strategy

 

Identify the target audience and their priorities

  • Decide if the product is directed at mums, foodies, local people or city dwellers
  • Understand how and why the audience buy
  • Follow key influencers and discussion groups online

 

Keep the online presence up-to-date

  • A website and social media for the brand is low cost and mostly free
  • Engage with new customers and keep repeat buyers in the loop
  • Be consistent with posts to communicate brand values
  • Constantly review content

 

Social media advertising

  • Social media adverts are increasingly popular and can be a low budget option to target a particular market
  • Consider getting in touch with key influencers for reviews. These may have to be paid for but they are often well-respected by their followers
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