Crafting Your Market’s Brand
Branding a farmers market is a way to carry across the values and goals of the mission statement into the outreach, advertising, and promotion of the market.
A brand is more than a logo, a font, or a business name; it is the implicit and often subliminal messaging to the customer about what the brand represents. The feelings, imagery, and words conjured up by thinking about a favorite brand are examples of implicit messaging.
A successful brand encapsulates the story, history, perspective, and values described in the mission statement, evoking a positive emotional response from the customer with the goal of developing trust in the brand, resulting in loyal customers. A brand uses these elements across all market platforms (website, social media, advertising, and signage) typically through print, illustrations, and photography to communicate these messages to customers.
When developing the brand, think of all the ways that your farmers market is unique. These qualities are what will define and direct how the brand is used. Remember, farmers markets are the ONLY place where shoppers have access to multiple farmers in one location with the opportunity to interact with those responsible for producing the various foods they are purchasing.
There are many online resources available to help you develop your market’s brand, including those listed below.
Signs and Logos
One of the most effective, low-cost opportunities to bring people to your market is the use of signs. Sandwich board directional signs posted around town on market days are very helpful in publicizing the market. Many towns will hang banners across Main Street or throughout the town during market season. Posters in local businesses and tourist attractions can advertise special events. Another advertising opportunity is reader boards for schools, banks, and other visible locations. Consider creating market event bookmarks to be distributed at the local library or inserts in shopping bags at partner retailers or on restaurant countertops. Most signs and flyers can be created at a low cost and then distributed with volunteer labor.
Creating a market logo for these signs helps build recognition and consumer awareness. You can hold a community contest to design your logo or ask a professional artist to create one. Use your logo on everything the market distributes. From letterheads to t-shirts, aprons and ads, your logo is an effective way to build awareness of your market.
Below are a few examples of market logos in Montana that do a good job of conveying what is unique about each market:
Red Lodge Farmers Market Logo
Bozeman Winter Farmers’ Market Logo
Capitol Square Farmers Market Logo