I never thought I’d write an article about carrots. Yes, those red things that grow underground, just waiting for Bugs Bunny to chomp on.
Recently ABC’s TV’s Landline program featured a carrot farm in Queensland. Not just any farm. They grow 20,000 tons which go up and down the Eastern Seaboard, including Tasmania as well as South-East Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
But it’s not their production, but how they market and communicate with their customers we can learn from.
You can read/watch the original segment at the ABC – http://goo.gl/mSAqdg, however here are some of the takeaways.
Carrots are a commodity. So why would you select these carrots on your supermarket shelf over anyone else’s?
The answer is as true for carrots as any other item – commodity or not.
You differentiate yourself by communicating and explaining your value in terms your customers vibe with. You engage. Tell your story. Get them involved.
The farm is state of the art. But most of their customers wouldn’t know it.
The farm started “Open Days” where locals were encouraged to come and see the farm, pick their own carrots and see how production happens. By inviting people in, their customers get to experience first-hand what it takes to produce a kilo of carrots.
Customers see how much the farm’s willing to invest in machinery and state of the art production facilities.
In an age where people worry about additives/preservatives/irradiation/pesticides, the organisation provides complete transparency regarding their process. They produce FAQ sheets, newsletters and keep in touch with their market.
In the words of one of the owners…
“We just bring them in and wash the mud off them and put them in a bag or in a box and that’s all we do. I think people go away feeling good about that. They have peace of mind that they know, ‘Hey, look, these guys are really good people.
They’re doing the right thing. They’re not out there hosing chemicals down into the river. They’re out there just growing food and doing it really well so we can go and eat safe food when we buy it from the shop.’”
To me, the biggest lesson is involvement. Let your clients see under the hood. What it really takes for you to do what you do. Let them contribute their ideas on how you can improve. Have them feel part of your operation.
It will engender a level of loyalty you can’t buy.