Do Company Perceptions Matter in the Seed Business?
We all know that product performance, especially consistently high yields year-after-year, is the most important driver of success in the Seed business. But what about farmer perceptions of the seed company itself? Does it matter what farmers think of your company as long as the product performs?
Stratus recently completed a survey of 1,000 corn, cotton or soybean growers in the US with an average farm size of 2,300 acres. Among other things, the study examined farmer perceptions of the 9 leading seed companies on 15 different attributes plus the overall performance of each company. Shares were also measured for each company.
We found that perceptions of “overall company performance” are clearly linked to share. On average, when a company was rated excellent, that company’s share was 29% of planted acres, 18% when the company was rated good and only 6% when the company was rated less than good.
We then looked at what factors are connected to overall company performance using correlation analysis. The top 4 most strongly linked factors are:
Trust - company that you trust
Warranty - looks after you if their product fails
Seed Advisors - knowledgeable local advisors
Company Rep - knowledgeable company reps
Farmers do more business with seed companies that they perceive to be excellent companies. They need to trust that company. And a big part of earning trust is having a knowledgeable, local sales force that is there to work with farmers and support the products.
The companies that purchase this study know how they are perceived by farmers. They know what they need to do to build greater success through the approach they take with farmers.