Through the WSU extenion I am going through their business plan writing class. And yesterday the speaker talked about branding.
He is apart of agri-tourism and one of the things he discussed was knowing your market and their appeal to different icons. For him they have a family friendly pumpkin farm they open up in the fall during the day. Their branding for this is a country barn with their farm name, here they are trying to give off the impression of a family friendly, laid back country life.
Then in the evening they turn the farm into a haunted corn maze. For this their branding logo is conveying fear and monsters. They even have a separate website for this aspect of the farm since they don’t want to scare away parents with 4 year old kids. This separate website allows them to blog about scary movies and frightful stories. It’s a complete 180 from their ‘laid back country life’ they give off in the original logo.
This speaker also went on to discuss how they get their brand seen. He participates in judging competitions at the local fair. When doing this participants need to sign in, and when they do that on the companies letterhead. He also engages in local Non-profits for his community. In doing this he works with his competitors, local farms, to create a larger presence to appeal to local tourism. When tourist go to the website they can see his brand as well as the other farms in his area.
They also wear their branded T-shirts when working at local fairs and on the farm. This is a free walking billboard and when participating at local fairs it sends the message of good will.
And one last thing is donations. Donating tickets or small products to local groups and schools gets your brand logo out there to the public while also sending a message of community endorsement.
Oh! and if you are writing a business plan or getting into a business for yourself he strongly encouraged signing up for lots of newsletters from different businesses. Marketing is a tool all businesses use and there is usually something good in newsletters about this. His favorites were Disneyland & Les Schwab tires. Very different businesses but many ideas can come from them.