Understanding and identifying the right decisions in fresh produce branding

It is important that stakeholders right across fresh produce understand the importance of a thorough brand audit and how it can make your fresh produce brand standout for years to come.

Are you thinking about your current brand and rethinking things? Or maybe you need or want to build a new brand all together? Before you do, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself this little question – how do you hope to build a fresh produce brand that works for you and your audience in new and engaging ways? And how can you do this unless you have the most up to date insights and the right context?

I am talking about conducting a brand audit. Traditionally a brand audit has centred around a review of all of the current brand assets (logo, website, packaging, marketing collateral etc.) built within the brand hierarchy of an existing brand. Sure, that is still important, but there is so much more to a brand audit than just reviewing the brand assets.

For example, if your business manages multiple fresh produce brands, an audit needs to dig a lot deeper and consider how your various brands all play together, where the various brands are heading respectively, and whether they all serve the same, similar, or varying audiences. There is no singular ‘right approach’ to this stuff. The key is to do the work, go through the steps, ask questions and then make decisions for your brand from the most informed position.

For example, let’s say that you operate in several different fresh produce categories and have a couple of different brands in each category. Keeping your brands completely unique and separate can be tough and also an expensive exercise. However uniting them all under the one singular brand is an affordable option but can then deliver a ‘corporate giant’ perception at the consumer level and may not be the right approach. As a happy middle ground, uniting at a category level can often bring the best of both worlds for a brand. However it can of course also bring risks.

At the end of the day, you must work out which level works best for you. Then you need to be constantly reviewing and auditing your approaches to ensure they continue to champion the benefits of your chosen direction and avoid the risks therein.

At Soto Group, we follow a three-step process in auditing fresh produce brands.

  1. Firstly, we collate and review all incidents of brand use, from billboards to bookmarks, signatures to sponsorships. We are constantly checking for consistency of use and strategic alignment. Ask yourself, are you on track?
  2. Secondly, how does the brand resonate? Are the step one insights matched by feedback from internal and external stakeholders, customers, and consumers? If not, then we give some thought as to why this is not the case. We then consider what interventions we could make to help rectify this.
  3. Finally, and this is where the big picture thinking comes in, is the brand increasing in value? Are your efforts driving brand affinity, brand awareness, brand engagement, and brand equity? How is this tracking against any other brands that you manage? Are they working together, supporting or hindering one another?

There are lots of questions to ponder and consider, but if you take the time to answer them you’ll be in a better place than before. It is not always the answers that are most important, more the process and the pause for thought to consider them. Your goal is to make informed choices and thorough brand decisions, rather than spontaneous and ill-conceived ones.

Author avatar
Matt Crouch
I draw value from being inspired and from inspiring others. As a marketing, branding and communications leader and consultant, I have always seen the engagement of stakeholders as critically important. Maintaining this has ensured that the brands I have built and the teams I have led have scope to flourish and drive innovation. I am a firm believer that everything I touch must drive a business forward, challenging the creativity, process, system and infrastructure in place.