Marketing tips: Fresh produce – let your brand do the selling

When you as a farmer wants  to move the territories outside of your farm gate to sell your produce, the right branding is the best way to build your market presence. A poor brand will spoil your entire marketing effort, even if you have a well packaged, top-quality product.

There is two ways branding can cost you money. Firstly it can be very easy to get carried away and you end up paying someone thousands to design your brand.

Secondly, when you spend money on the wrong brand name and design, or you didn’t have a brand identifying your products, and you lose sales to your opposition – who did.

There are three reasons for having a brand:

  • Distinguishing your products from those of your competitors.
  • Establishing a trusted name by buyers or consumers.
  • Creating a positive image for your products.


Put some time and effort onto deciding the name for your brand and don’t let emotional factors influence you. Thousands of people will see the brand name and your emotional connection means nothing to them, harsh as it may seem.

Choose a name that can “stick” easily with the public – a long, difficult, meaningless name are useless and might easily be forgotten.

Do not combine names; for example taking the names of a husband and wife to assemble your brand name – again, it means nothing to the public.

Take your time beforehand, consider several options, talk to knowledgeable people, observe successful brand names and identify the factors that set them apart; and test your options with others.

When you think of world famous brands, they are short and easy to remember – just think of Coca-Cola, Nike, KFC, Ford and Engen, to name a few. In each case, the logo design and colour scheme that go with the name are easily identifiable.

Your product might not be marketed at the same scale, but the principles they applied when selecting and designing their brand are also applicable at a local level.

In farming, your farm name is sometimes suitable as a brand- many farmers use this. Family names are also an option, but this is generally less successful.


Designing your logo is the costly part of your brand. Get the help of a professional, if you are able to. It is tempting to ask someone you know with some background in art, but a trained graphical designer have the best training to design the your brand identity that ticks all the boxes.

It’s better to sit down with a qualified person, discuss what you want and allow them to come up with a few options for you to choose from.

An example of an effective design in South African agriculture is ZZ2, famous in South Africa for tomatoes.

The design for the ZZ2 brand is simple, easy and draws your attention.
The design for the ZZ2 brand is simple, easy and draws your attention.

Their design and colour scheme is simple and effective. If you happen to travel behind one of their huge yellow trucks, you’ll see the simple but effective message.

They keep it simple; easy to see, easy to read, easy to remember. The size and shape of the letters, the design of the logo and the colours you see have all been chosen after long and careful consideration – that is good branding.


Colour has a big impact on the buying decision of the person looking at your product. Studies have shown what colours mean to people, and it’s important to get the colour for your brand.

In fruit and vegetables we have fabulous products that are connected in the consumer’s mind with freshness, health, vibrant colours, different shapes and sizes and many flavours. Make sure the colours you choose complement the product you sell: No heavy, dull colours, but bright, cheerful colours to catch the buyer’s eyes.

  • This article was written by Michael Cordes and first appeared in Farming SA.

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