In today’s saturated marketplace, all businesses must be aware of their brand image. The value of a strong brand lies in the impression left with anyone who comes in contact with your business. It’s how your customers see you. Branding is not just about logos or updating your Website, it’s the entire feel associated with your business.

It’s the same for agricultural businesses, farms and rural communities.

A farm’s brand is your public identity, drilled down into an image or few words. It’s a positive image that evokes an emotion or immediate association. It stands in place of a long description of your farm and its products.

Branding your farm really makes it easier for customers to buy from you. It helps your customers associate your brand with quality, good service, good selection and value. This makes it easier for you to sell your farm products.

Good branding is an art. It’s a strong partnership of strategy, memorable words and graphic design. Creating a strong brand is a key component towards growing your business. A well-developed brand saves time, retains current customers, invites new customers, and will increase your sales and profits.

I experienced a well-developed brand campaign this weekend – The Farm / Art Dtour in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. It was a 50-mile tour through the beautiful and scenic Sauk County countryside. Throughout the drive, I saw working farms (in valleys, on hills, on the plains), farm-based art works (haystacks made into a huge Monarch butterfly caterpillar, Stonehenge: more like hayhenge and much more), artist-built mobile culture stands (full of fruits, vegetables and more), and field notes (signs with rural facts, such as: did you know that 90 percent of dairy milk in Wisconsin is made into cheese?).

The large collaboration of community support helped spread the campaign. It was a great example of how farmers can benefit by aligning cooperatively under a single brand. And, it showed what it takes for a farm and its community to make a business, and the area it’s in, successful.

Broad recognition and visibility are the hallmarks of a successful brand marketing campaign. I came off this drive feeling firsthand the value of local food and farm products. Without saying one word to push me to buy this or that, this tour encouraged me to buy Wisconsin-based agricultural products.

It’s about food and farming. It’s about branding. And, yes, it’s the entire feel done right!