Market News & Headlines >> Brock Consultant Katie Hancock's Blog: Brand Loyalty Holding You Back?

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Insights from Brock Associates Consultant Katie Hancock

Brand loyalty is a strong force in the farming world. Equipment, seed, and input salesman tend to corner producers based on habitual consumer behaviors. Loyalty to a brand is often consistent regardless of price or convenience. This may not be the best route for a business.

I am a strong believer that a rigid business culture can negatively influence decision-making. How many businesses do you know that only purchase one brand of truck or equipment? Is Ford better than a Chevrolet or John Deere better than Case IH? Sometimes, yes, but buying a certain brand is often more of a tradition based on emotions rather than factual decision-making.

There are many benefits to brand loyalty. Reasons to keep one brand include logistics, multi-unit discounts, and maintenance. It’s also time-saving. But that brand may not be the most competitive.

It’s tough to challenge brand loyalty—especially when personal relationships are involved. Open communication will reduce resentment from coworkers and salesman. A young farmer friend has been successful looking to other products—specifically input suppliers. He experienced resistance from his father, who previously stuck to one company. In the long run, he was able to find better prices and equal customer service. 

My farming operation uses a variety of brands. In terms of equipment, we use products from John Deere, CAT, Apache, Kinze, and Case IH- to name a few. It’s challenging at times, but we always search for the best product, deal, and service. Dealers know we are open-minded and fight to keep our business.

It’s not wrong to be loyal to a brand, but consider the sacrifices. In tough economic times, an open-minded approach may save money. Be aware of the impacts of brand loyalty, positive and negative.

Email Katie at [email protected]