In The Greenhouse: The Importance Of Branding

I’ve always tried to impress upon growers the importance of branding their product, whether it is greenhouse vegetables or anything else.

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Each grower is a unique business producing a crop with a particular value. This product has to be distinguished from all other similar products in some way. It needs to be different enough so that the consumer finds value in buying your products in favor of someone else’s.

It should, hopefully, be higher quality than most of your competitors. It should also be fresher and more local than produce from lots of the other possible businesses that people could buy from. All of these factors need to be stressed — locally grown, fresh, and high quality. They may be obvious to you, the grower, but the consumer needs to be constantly reminded.

Once someone has a brand name, that name can be used in all advertising. With produce, it can also be used on individual stickers that can be applied to each cucumber, pepper, eggplant, tomato, or head of lettuce. In this way, there is a constant reminder of where the products came from, and who to go back to to buy more.

Unusual Techniques
One of the techniques for making your items stand out is to come up with a clever, funny, or unusual name for your business.

Most of the names I have seen are very factual. While there’s nothing really wrong with them, they are rather unimaginative. Tom’s Tomatoes, Peter’s Peppers, Lu Anne’s Lettuce — you get the idea. Many other names are based on local geography with the name of the town, county, or mountain embedded into the business name. Some of those are good, while others are a little too vanilla.

There’s nothing bad with any of those names. But, if you want people to remember your company, see if you can think of a name that will really grab their attention. If you are having trouble, ask your family, your friends, your business associates, or even your kids.

Names that should be avoided are those that have very long and awkward words in them. Even though that name might be the name of a local river or even your own last name, if most people will have trouble spelling it or even repeating it, you should probably leave it out. For example, even though the lake in the town of Webster, MA, is really named Lake Chaubunagungamaug, I would not name my farm after it and put it on my business card, let alone try to squeeze it onto a produce sticker.

That said, here are some of my favorite, real-live business names sifted from my database of growers. Some may not be in business any more. The others, hopefully, will not mind a little free publicity. These are the top 16 names out of my list of several hundred actual names:

1. Lazy Lady Farm
2. Bullfrog Creek Organic Produce Farm
3. Who-Da-Thawt-It Farms
4. Happy Boys Farms
5. The King’s Gardens
6. Perfect Balance Farm
7. The Salad Bowl
8. Farm Time
9. The Funny Farm
10. Jolly Farmer
11. Hydrosun Hydroponics
12. Misty Morning Farms
13. Rainbow Ridge Ranch
14. Deva’s Harvest
15. Bat Creek Farm
16. Wyomatoes

In choosing your business name, try to be creative and think of a name that might get a chuckle or at least have some good sticking power in someone’s memory. It may make the difference between an occasional purchase and consistent, repeat sales.