University of Maryland Extension

Creating a brand through your story

Ginger S. Myers, Extension Specialist, Marketing, University of Maryland Extension and Kim Rush Lynch, Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension

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How you will present “your story” to your target market? People buy from people. Your best branding asset is you! Before you think about a logo and other marketing collateral, you need to be able to tell your story in a way that’s concise yet compelling. Your story is your promotional foundation.

In “Made to Stick,” authors Dan Heath and Chip Heath, state that there are five things you must do to ensure that your story “sticks” with consumers:

  1. Simplicity. Keep your audience focused with the critical essence of what you do.

  2. Unexpectedness. Creating surprise keeps your audience tuned in!

  3. Concrete. Be specific and relatable and communicate your story in a way that your audience will understand.

  4. Credible. Give details that help to paint the picture, but be authentic!

  5. Emotional. When you make your story about your audience’s needs and appeal to their emotions, they connect with you.

Think about what makes your farm business unique. Need help? Review your S.W.O.T. analysis from you business plan and pick your top three compelling strengths to highlight. This may include your production methods, unique location, and philosophy on why you grow and raise your food the way you do. It’s also important to incorporate any community giving, testimonials or recognized news stories. Most of all, it’s important to highlight what problem your unique business solves for your ideal customer. All of these strategies are a part of your relationship building portfolio that leads to sales.

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