Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Improved Branding Helps Producers in Nicaragua

López (top left) giving the Benchmark email marketing
seminar to CONAGAN and CANICARNE participants.
About a year after his first visit to Nicaragua, Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Volunteer Eddy López returned in July 2016 to update and reinvigorate the branding and promotional efforts he previously developed with several beef and dairy organizations and small-scale producers. Over the course of his three week assignment, López reconnected with three national organizations, the National Livestock Commission of Nicaragua (CONAGAN), the Nicaraguan Chamber of Dairy (CANISLAC) and the Nicaraguan Chamber of the Industry for Beef (CANICARNE).

With CONAGAN, López created new promotional materials to increase the organization’s visual presence and garner attention for their upcoming VII National Livestock Congress. He also developed branding proposals for their new national training center and for their regional congresses. Reuniting with CANISLAC allowed López to redesign their logo and strengthen their brand identity. Building on the capacity of his past assignment, López also led a seminar for CONAGAN and CANICARNE on a free email marketing platform called Benchmark to promote sustainable and proper email marketing practices, such as running maintenance on email lists, designing email layouts, and measuring the efficacy of each email campaign. In addition, López met with three small-scale dairy producers, to address their branding needs, such as logo design, label placements on their products and design concepts for future marketing campaigns.

López’s design samples for Tias Especiales’s
Yogurt con Amor brand.
During his trip, López was able to learn, collaborate and meet the specific needs of the organizations and producers he worked with, using the resources available. While noting small marketing and promotion budgets as a limitation, he utilized his expertise to offer more feasible yet effective recommendations. For instance, Lopez worked with host Tias Especiales during his assignment. He worked with two of his design students from Bucknell University - Ellen O’Donnell and Lena Miskulin - and together they redesigned Tias Especiales’s Yogurt con Amor labels for their individual flavors. The team recognized color printing was not a sustainable option and instead recommended black and white printing on different colored paper, which would not increase the cost of printing and producing the labels. In the long run, it was also recommended that they group purchase a black & white laser printer to allow internal production of labels and save even more on printing costs. Another example is that he recommended the Benchmark software mentioned above, which is a free marketing tool that the organizations can use over time.

After branding recommendations and specific proposals are approved and finalized, these organizations and producers will be able to raise their brand visibility to greater heights. However, it’s important to note that marketing and branding isn’t a one-time job, it requires continuous improvements over time. López hopes future F2F volunteers will be able to travel to Nicaragua to help these organizations and producers continue to review their branding and marketing, and to set up individual brand identity guides for greater professional implementation of their respective brands.

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