Introduction – Consumer Benefits
Agriculture Business – Adding the Details
Most successful businesses find a need and fill it. Although there’s usually a lot more to it than that, fundamentally that’s one of the keys to success. Saying such and understanding how that is applicable to the agriculture industry is another thing. You may wonder “I raise green peppers – how does that transfer into customer benefits?” You have to think about this a little differently for it to make any sense. People are inclined to purchase goods and services when they “demand” them. Demand is the end result of recognizing a need and evaluating solutions.
Needs, Wants and Demands are Different Things
The statement “People don’t buy things they don’t need” will provoke a lot of skepticism in any marketing discussion. We often see people making purchases for things that in our view they don’t need, yet, somewhere in their mind they have concluded that this is a need they have and they want this solution. The need is a deficiency – something that is causing you discomfort, stress or anxiety – what is often labeled “pain”. You can choose to ignore this deficiency, or you can seek sources to overcome it. Often there are more than one source, and more than one solution. The solution you ultimately choose is often influenced by price, availability, experience, advertising and marketing. These influences sway you to conclude that one solution is better than the others and at that point you “want” the solution. Yet, this process isn’t done yet. Just because we have a need and have figured out the best solution doesn’t mean that we will act on it. We may choose not to expend the funds at this moment; maybe we don’t have the time; and sometimes it’s just a matter of other more important uses of our resources take priority. It is not until we demand the solution that a transaction has the potential to actually happen. We must have the justification for the purchase. The demand stage comes after we put this solution to the top of our priorities list and allocate the required time and money. This process can be as simple as purchasing an ice cream cone or as involved as a new home.
So, after all that discussion how does that help us sell green peppers? People don’t just purchase peppers without some forethought. The pain or anxiety they feel is they are hungry and they know their family will be hungry too. So, the “Need” is the hunger for sustenance. To find a solution to this hunger they search recipes that they know the family will like. Finding one they now “Want” to make this for supper. They look though the house for the ingredients. They have everything except the green pepper. They want to make this dish and they worry that it just won’t taste right unless it has the green peppers in it. They have options: they could leave the peppers out, they could purchase frozen peppers, they might find some form of canned peppers that would work, they could modify the dish so that the peppers were not required, or they could simply give up and not make that dish at this time. Whether or not they can provide this meal for their family will depend on how much time, energy or money they will have to expend to purchase the peppers they need. After analysis they determine that it is necessary to secure a green pepper. The need brought on by hunger, the want is the meal they decide is the solution and the demand now is the call to action.
Now, you may wish to respond by saying “heck, I just grow a few peppers – I’m not into all that marketing stuff – I don’t even know this person you are talking about”. That may be true, but it behooves you to understand this customer and how and why she will purchase a green pepper. Is she going to drive out to your farm to buy one green pepper? She may be willing to buy your pepper, but the convenience of the purchase is going to be paramount in her decision to purchase. It’s possible that she would drive slightly out of her way to gain access to farm fresh produce, but she’s not likely to expend an undue amount of time or energy to do so. She’s probably not going to order them on the internet and have them delivered. She isn’t likely to order a whole case or even six every day. Would she be willing to pay for you to deliver it to her home? Maybe, but the delivery cost for one pepper may be more than she is willing to pay.
Taking this discussion further consider exactly what she is looking for. Does she want an organic pepper? Is there a particular brand or type of pepper that she prefers? If her recipe only calls for two tablespoons of finely chopped pepper would it be more convenient for her to just open the refrigerator and measure out that quantity from a jar of already cleaned, washed, and chopped organic peppers? People are expecting and demanding food ingredients to be more convenient, higher quality and presented in a manner that reduces waste and spoilage.
So, if you are a grower of a small patch of green peppers all this marketing stuff does matter to you!