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Johansson, Lina (2008) Marketing, branding and sales agreements. Other thesis, SLU.

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We are presently living in a complex society where there is a great distance between the production and the consumption. The debate about the importance of "eating locally produced food" escalates as research shows correlation between life styles and a climate in change. The interest for value-added food is steadily increasing in Sweden but also in other countries. Even if small-scale food production is obtaining great support, small producers have a lot of challenges and considerations to make, due to their lack of resources. The aim with this study is to investigate and to get a better understanding of how farmers successfully manage to communicate their brand and if a brand can facilitate the sales agreements. This thesis and the result are based upon qualitative case studies, since the aim is to explore and develop knowledge in the area of small-scale production rather than to try a hypothesis or to obtain exact results through sampling. Also, secondary data was used. The primary focus of this study is on the producer level, their perception on successful marketing, branding strategies and what kind and form of sales agreements that is practicable and favourable. In order to be able to reach a market and to become successful, the small-scale producer has to make strategic choices. By using theories that cover why small-scale farms tend to offer more than just a "product" and which sales channels, these strategic choices can be facilitated. Finding out if a brand is considered essential and what kind of sales agreements to use are also theories that can make this dilemma easier to understand. The analysis clearly indicated that these small-scale producers work with different value grounds and pointed out quality and taste, local production and the processing stage as the most essential value grounds. Reasons for introducing the brand were, in general, to create an identity and to differentiate themselves from other brand products. The local touch was generally highlighted, to create a "home" feeling and a connection to customers. The study indicates that the majority of the case studies are an embryonic branding type, which means that they are aware of their brand but no active work is done to increase the awareness. The case studies usually had an extended time exchange with their customers since the purpose of exchange is often to create long term initiatives, where no distinct obligations and needs are required. One main distinction between the two countries is that none of the Canadian case studies sold to any retail chains. The reason was that it is impossible for them to compete with large-scale producers and supply a regular quantity. Additionally, there is no pronounced support and demand from the retailers in Canada, like there currently is in Sweden. The conclusion states that small-scale producers have to be consequent in how they communicate their brand in order to become successful. By attending events and meeting new customers, are two possible ways to communicate the brand. The study also indicated that when moving away from the farm level and aiming at bigger volumes, it gets harder to communicate the message and the meaning of the brand grows. The brand can be communicated by using information brochures and place them in a near location to the meat. Another vital approach is to use ambassadors for communicating the brand. The study also showed that the farmers generally do not want to bond to written agreements since they can not guarantee a supply on a regular basis. To secure the transaction and to protect the brand, the possible need for a written agreement increases, the further the small-scale producer gets from the farm level.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Brand, marketing, small-scale cattle production, sales agreement, value-added, relations
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences > Dept. of Economics
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Lina Johansson
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2015 08:48
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2987

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