"Agricultural Retailer Brand Strength Monitor A syndicated farmer survey to measure the brand strength of western"
Agricultural Retailer Brand Strength Monitor A syndicated farmer survey to measure the brand strength of western Canadian agricultural retailers and their role in positioning major product brands. This is the first This study will provide agricultural product manufacturers and crop input retailers with valuable information about how farmers perceive the various agricultural industry-wide brand retail channel brands. survey of its kind Agricultural product manufacturers compete for farmers’ business through brand since dramatic positioning, supported by broad communications programs typically promoting changes have swept product performance advantages. These programs are ultimately designed to drive the farmer through the retail channel – through someone’s door – to the western purchase that manufacturer’s product. The manufacturer strives to support Canadian retail retailers in selling its brands to farmers. channel. Retail channel brands, on the other hand, compete on a different plane. Brand building at the retail level aims to create farmer preference for specific retailers or dealers – usually based on service, information, relationship, etc. From the largest integrated grain and crop inputs companies to the local independents, retailers strive to create value and a differentiated position in the farmers’ minds, so that farmers will purchase products and services through them. And they strive to create value for suppliers by offering the best connection to the farmer. Over the past five years, we have seen dramatic and fundamental changes in the agricultural retail landscape: Consolidation of major grain companies, with resultant customer dislocation Expanded role for producer-owned inland terminals and established cooperative retailers Acquisition of independent crop input retailers by larger national and international companies Increased spending on agronomic support by some retailers Shifts in crop input financing practices The rise of the internet as a decision tool and its failure as a retail portal These changes have caused farmers to re-evaluate their relationships with retailers. In the changed landscape, how well have retail channel companies responded to changing customer needs? In evolving and enhancing their relationship with the farmer? Who’s doing it right? Who stands out? Is loyalty dead? How do the shrinking numbers of increasingly viable farmers view their retail alternatives? The Agriculture Retailer Brand Strength Monitor is a syndicated farmer survey that will address these issues on behalf of industry subscribers. 1 Agricultural Retailer Brand Strength Monitor Blacksheep Strategy Inc. (204) 925-4333 Four things you will learn: 1. What is the relative strength of the retail channel brands that you are competing with or selling through? To what extent are retail channel brands differentiated, relevant and creating affinity with farmers? 2. On what dimensions do farmers differentiate between retail alternatives, and how do these factors influence purchase decisions? Do farmers differentiate between brands based on their retail and service strategies? Who’s making it work? 3. Who is on the upswing? Which companies are likely to experience increased or decreased business based on brand differences? What is the trend or direction of farmer thinking about their choices? 4. Is loyalty dead? What is the depth and nature of farmers’ relationships with the range of retail brand choices that they have? Who has retained relationships in the face of internal and industry changes? Benefits to manufacturers An “ear to the ground” in understanding what farmers are thinking about their retail alternatives, and the direction of their intentions Assist in understanding the challenges faced by retailers (in terms of the way farmers perceive them) Understand the relative strength of the various retail channel brands, to help in assessing and developing relationships with retailers/dealers Understand how well the supplier’s brand promise is carried through in the retail channel Benefits to retailers An efficient opportunity to assess your brand’s position relative to competitors’ brands from the critical perspective of commercial farmers Understand your own brand’s competitive strengths and weaknesses Identify threats and opportunities Determine specific points of differentiation for your brand, and the resulting impact on business intentions Obtain unbiased baseline market share statistics for broad product categories 2 Agricultural Retailer Brand Strength Monitor Blacksheep Strategy Inc. (204) 925-4333 Details The survey will be conducted by telephone, with a base sample of 1,000 farmers with minimum seeded acreage of 640 acres, stratified based on six geographic splits (North/South Alberta, North/South Saskatchewan, Peace region and Manitoba). The total sample will be weighted to reflect the distribution of farmers across the three provinces, while the geographic stratification will allow a reasonable level of statistical accuracy in looking at geographic splits and smaller retailers within specific geographies. On a custom basis, we can: Augment the sample in specific geographies Design questions to get at issues specific to your company or brand Augment the sample to obtain responses from higher numbers of your customers or selected target groups The survey will be fielded in mid to late October. Deliverables and costing Full report A final report will be provided by December 15, 2003, addressing the issues posed above, and the following: Brand strength index and comparisons, visually represented using perceptual map, tables and charts Brand differentiators and brand levers Comparisons, where relevant, across subgroups such as farm size categories, broad geographies, retailer type Interpretation of study results for the specific brands and companies that are included in the survey Cost: Before October 1 ......................................................... $ 14,000 After October 1 ........................................................... $ 16,000 Retailer brand insight module Geared to small to mid-sized retailers, this would be a custom report for your company, based on responses related to your company versus all others (grouped) in your geographic area. Report would include: Brand strength analysis of your company Frequencies of all questions for your retail versus all others in your geographic category (grouped together) Based on a “bump up” of sample to obtain at least 50 respondents with the retailer in their consideration set, this would be compared with a 170 sample in that geographic area. Cost: Before October 1 ........................................................... $ 4,500 After October 1 ............................................................. $ 5,500 3 Agricultural Retailer Brand Strength Monitor Blacksheep Strategy Inc. (204) 925-4333 Grain sector insight module Geared to grain companies with or without interest in the crop input sector, this would be a custom report based on responses related to your company versus all others in your geographic area. Report would include: Brand strength analysis of your company based on your core business Frequencies of all questions for your retail versus all others in your geographic category (grouped together) Based on a “bump up” of sample to obtain at least 50 respondents with the retailer in their consideration set, this would be compared with a 200 sample in that geographic area. Cost: Before October 1 ........................................................... $ 6,500 After October 1 ............................................................. $ 7,500 Custom questions With purchase of the full report, proprietary questions can be added (subject to limits on the length of the survey). Closed question, including basic frequencies and cross-tabs against demographic variables ............................... $ 500 Open-ended question: categorized and coded verbatim responses, with frequencies and basic cross-tabs, plus printed categorized verbatim responses ............................... $ 1,500 Sample questions Closed question: Did you attend any seed demonstration site tours this summer? (Yes/No) If yes: Which company’s demonstration site tours did you attend? (Multiple choice) The cost of these two closed questions, including frequencies and basic cross-tabs, would be $1,000. Open question: What would cause you to look around for a new crop protection products supplier? (record verbatim, 3 mentions allowed) The cost of this question would be $1,500 Sample Bump-up We can increase the sample size for certain geographies, or to capture higher numbers of certain farmers. Examples: Top up the sample within a trading area Get a certain number of farmers who have done business at Company X The cost of a bump-up would be determined based on specifications, and would include a cost of fielding plus cost of additional analysis and reporting. For more information on pricing, contact Blacksheep. 4 Agricultural Retailer Brand Strength Monitor Blacksheep Strategy Inc. (204) 925-4333 Study Team Blacksheep Strategy Inc. is a western Canadian strategic marketing consultancy with offices in Winnipeg and Calgary. Blacksheep delivers consulting expertise in brand management, with an emphasis on validation and measurement. Blacksheep’s focus is on western Canada – particularly businesses based in the west and companies who market to rural Canadians. Blacksheep has a demonstrated affinity for western Canadian values, culture and markets. Russell Jeffrey will provide the strategic direction for this study. A partner in Blacksheep, Russell is responsible for business and marketing strategy. He has 18 years experience in managing marketing, sales and operations for Canada’s largest agricultural marketer. During this time he built several flagship brands including Proven Seed and most recently directed operations support and customer transition during the merger of two of Canada’s largest agricultural firms into Agricore United. Lead on our study team is Sharon Barker, Director of Research at Blacksheep. Sharon led brand foundation and tracking research for Canada’s largest agricultural retailer brand and its sub-brands through several years of change and growth. This has resulted in an understanding of farmers’ perspectives of the full range of retailers, brands and sub-brands that compete for farmers’ business across western Canada. Sharon’s experience in tracking and analyzing agricultural brands will ensure that the results are relevant and actionable. Derrick Coupland leads the brand strategy practice at Blacksheep Strategy Inc. Derrick’s role will be to provide input into the study design and interpretation of the results from a brand development and brand management perspective. Prior to Blacksheep, Derrick was President and a founding partner of Fusion Communications Group Inc., where he developed brand strategies for agriculture industry leaders including Agrifinance, Brandt Tractor, Agricore United Financial and United Grain Growers. Outside of the agriculture industry, Derrick has worked on brand strategies for companies including CanWest Global, King Optical, BCU Financial, Salvation Army and Winnipeg Airports Authority. Terms All study documentation (e.g. reports, tables, sub-reports and questionnaires) is confidential and strictly for the internal use of subscribing companies. The contents of the research documents, and any accompanying materials, may not be reproduced in any way, or disclosed to any other party, in any manner whatsoever, without the prior written consent of Blacksheep Strategy Inc. In the unlikely event of insufficient number of subscribers, the study could be postponed or cancelled. 50% of study cost is due upon sign-up, and 50% is due upon final delivery of the report. Early sign up rate applies up to October 1. 5 Agricultural Retailer Brand Strength Monitor Blacksheep Strategy Inc. (204) 925-4333