NGA. Agriculture focused companies are facing significant challenges from deteriorating economic conditions. How can effective advertising and marketing help these companies to retain and strengthen their market share?
Lynne Fruehling. Marketing leads to sales, not the other way around. Spending more money in good times is as ridiculous as cutting marketing budgets when times get tough. Red Lizard believes in planned communications to provide the right message and media mix at the right time. Well-balanced communications present clarity, consistency and constancy to keep customers and prospects engaged in both good times and bad.
NGA. Why is it important that agriculture companies increase recognition of their brands and how should they go about achieving this?
LF. The brand is your company's most valuable asset, as well as the most powerful tool you can wield in the commercial marketplace. Brand is everything. It is reflected positively or negatively in every employee, every product/service and every public or private interaction. Ignore it and your competition will gladly 'take care' of your brand position for you. Increasing brand recognition is vital. Truly successful brands are championed by people who understand there is no choice but to 'live the brand'. And when you understand and commit to 'living the brand' increased brand strength and recognition is a given.
NGA. In your view are agribusiness companies sufficiently aware of the importance of branding and are they creative enough in their branding and advertising strategies?
LF. Professionals in agribusiness have long embraced the importance of branding; however, it is a concept that needs continual vigilance. We help clients understand that strong brands allow companies to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. When many products or services appear to be similar, how does a customer make a buying decision? Research shows customers will buy from the company whose promise continually meets their expectations. Customers are willing to pay more, travel further and wait longer for a brand they trust and with whom they feel connected.
NCA. What are the biggest challenges you encounter when putting together a branding, advertising or marketing strategy for Agribusiness clients?
LF. The concept of 'living the brand' is always a challenge. To make the brand vision a reality, each employee from the bottom to top of the organisation - must understand the brand promise - and then 'live the brand'. The brand promise must consistently be applied to everything they do - from answering the phones to making the sale. Companies can be reluctant to commit to branding because they mistakenly believe it siphons money away from 'sell' communications. Red Lizard takes the time to communicate the wisdom and value of branding. It's all about making the sales proposition a 'buying idea'.
NGA. What services do you offer to Agribusiness clients?
LF. Whether it's a request for branding or brand consulting, the development of a corporate identity or a full-bore communications campaign, Red Lizard Creative always keeps an eye on the prize - our client's brands. Developing clear, concise and consistent brand communications provides our clients with a priceless asset for recognition and reward in the marketplace. By fusing strategic analysis, research and planning with marketing, advertising, publicity, web-based initiatives and most important, branding, Red Lizard Creative takes a fully integrated approach to communications.
As a 'Brand Champion' Lynne Fruehling provides strategic counsel, creative direction and account management for clients in crop protection, irrigation, tractors and more. With a Masters and a Bachelors, her strength is developing brand stewardship programs with a return on investment needed in today's marketing space.