May 18, 2022

Deep Trust Builds Strong Reputations

Trade shows are back and people are excited to see each other in person. I’ve traveled all over the country meeting with farmers, ranchers and agricultural companies about what they are experiencing as the 2022 growing season continues.

While there’s a bit of a reprieve from the COVID cloud for now, inflation has taken hold causing food prices to surge. On top of that, farmers are coping with ongoing international conflicts and the impact on our global food supply and agricultural inputs while also managing the increasing demand for sustainably produced products.

When food prices rise and shelves go empty, consumers pay attention to agriculture. Luckily, consumers trust U.S. farmers and ranchers. According to a recent study commissioned by the United Soybean Board, 82% of consumers have a very or somewhat positive view of U.S. farmers who grow crops.

OBP understands the value of trust between producer and consumer, whether you’re a farmer organization or an agriculture company providing goods and services. We know that deep trust between company, brand and customer builds a solid reputation that stands the test of time, particularly when times are difficult. To build good reputations, businesses should consider these two pieces of strategic advice.

  1. Continually reinforce your story: To maintain and grow trust, continually refine your message and delivery methods. While an eye-catching ad in a top-tier trade publication may work for some, others organizations or brands may benefit from targeted, engaging digital campaigns that foster thought provoking conversations. The key is to know what works best for your customers and be willing to go where they go. OBP has a team of strategists that can help you determine the needs of your customers and creative and PR professionals to craft the right message to get the best results.
  1. Offense is stronger than defense: With all due respect to the great Bear Bryant and his well-known quote that ‘defense wins championships,’ maintaining trust requires consistent and reliable offense. Great companies make consistent reputation deposits through smart offensive plays that build brand loyalty over time. OBP works alongside our clients to build tailored reputation management campaigns that leave lasting, impactful impressions for brands with customers.

Whether agriculture is in the spotlight for the perseverance of our food supply system or its contributions to a more sustainable planet, your organization has an opportunity to shine.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information on how OBP can strategically support your communication efforts.

Richard Fordyce is a fourth-generation corn, soybean and beef cattle farmer from Missouri. He previously served as the Administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency. In that role, he provided leadership for FSA and its mission to support agricultural production nationwide. Fordyce leads the business development team at OBP.

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