Dairy Processor Brand Strategy & Marketing Toolkit

Visitors to the Northeast U.S. know that the landscape is punctuated by dairy producers that offer something for all fans; the foodie on an artisanal cheese adventure to the family that visits the same ice cream stand every summer for generations. While the Northeast draws tourists from all over to its famous countryside, the region’s dairy producers must work hard to grow and popularize their brands while focusing on the demands of their craft.

Smaller dairy processors perhaps have the greatest challenges when it comes to building a brand as they typically lack a dedicated marketing professional or team. At most small dairy processors, the owner/proprietor is likely also the head of marketing, or possibly a staff member can devote part of the week to posting photos to Facebook and Instagram and respond to customer posts. There’s little time to learn about different marketing and branding approaches, much less execute them consistently.

As part of a larger effort sponsored by the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets (VAAFM), The Good People Research Company was contracted to study the marketing and branding of dairy producers and consumers in the northeast to learn how best to assist small dairy producers in their efforts to brand their companies successfully. The study commenced on July 1, 2021, and culminated in the following deliverables in June 2022:

Case Studies: Dairy Processor Marketing & Branding Strategies

Marketing & Branding for Small Dairy Processors: 12 Case Studies

The production of these case studies is sponsored by the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) as part of a larger program designed to help the region’s dairy businesses stabilize and grow. NE-DBIC hired the Good People Research Company (GPR), a Virginia-based consumer research and advisory firm, to explore the marketing and branding methods used by the region’s dairy processors. Accompanying these case studies is a Marketing Toolkit, a resource guide that provides an overview of different marketing and branding opportunities and techniques.

Some of the case studies profile small companies and others feature larger processors that have dedicated marketing teams; these examples are provided to share practices that have had the benefit of being tested on a larger scale after more significant investment of time and resources and can still be adopted by a smaller company.

Dairy processors in the northeast U.S. can use these case studies for ideas about, and gain a benchmark for, their own marketing and branding.

Marketing Toolkit for Dairy Processors

Marketing & Branding Toolkit for Dairy Processors

As a dairy processor in the Northeast U.S., you have a series of choices to make as you go to market and brand your company. There’s no one way to position your company for profit, growth, and sustainability; how you go about it depends on your individual situation and aspirations.

Who are you, and what do you want to be? What is special about your company, and why should consumers or your community care? These are the essential questions to explore when deciding how to approach marketing and branding.

In this Toolkit, we will walk you through this process of exploring and identifying the story you will want to tell in the marketplace, and suggestions for how to tell that story, as well as how to get your products in front of consumers and popularize them most effectively.

Final Report: Marketing & Branding for Dairy Processors

Final Report: Marketing & Branding for Small Dairy Processors

This final report covers the research methods, analysis, conclusions, and recommendations for this study.

Webinar: Branding Dairy in the Northeast U.S.

A study of how dairy processors tell their stories to connect with consumers.

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