So far in our Brands We Love series, we’ve covered a lot of food-related topics: a couple of grocery stores and a burrito restaurant. But this week, we’re going straight to the source – a brand that represents a community of Iowa farmers invested in growing your food sustainably. They are Practical Farmers of Iowa. Not only is their mission a noble one, but they project it through their brand in memorable and enjoyable ways.
Mission and Vision Help Tell the Story
Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) is a membership organization that exists for farmers and nonfarmers to share knowledge, experience and networking to create a better approach to agriculture. PFI has a clear-cut mission/vision and well-defined values that tell their story before you even see hear a peep from the rest of their brand voice. This very fact makes their brand voice icing on the cake.
The Icing on the Cake: Brand Voice
It’s not all that common in agriculture to find a brand voice that is as smart, friendly, and knowledgable as PFI, but they have captured an exuberant determination that makes them so very likeable.
You may not be aware, but sustainable practices are a major hot topic in the agricultural community. The spectrum of opinions is broad, and, like most hot topics, full of emotion. What we like about PFI’s approach is their plain honesty mixed with a bit of humor and a little fun. Truly, PFI’s brand voice comes from an Iowa-nice farmer with the best of intentions – the kind of person you’d trust.
PFI-isms : Don’t Farm Naked
PFI has an excellent web and social media presence. They carry their brand voice from a well-crafted website (we love the slideshow with quotes) to a fun-to-read blog and active Facebook page and Twitter account. A few of our favorite PFI-isms include:
“Farminar” – Webinars on topics interesting to farmers.
“Soil and Soul” – 2013’s annual conference theme
“Labor4Learning” – PFI’s program that connects beginning farmers with paid, on-the-farm training.
And our personal favorite is the campaign for cover crops: Don’t Farm Naked. A colleague of ours in the agricultural field says that everywhere she goes, someone is wearing a Don’t Farm Naked shirt or makes mention of it with a smile.
From T-shirts to baseball caps, PFI has gotten the attention of a lot of people – farmers and nonfarmers – with a somewhat silly, extremely catchy slogan for a practice that could change the face of sustainable agriculture.
Practical Farmers of Iowa can be commended for their excellent use of verbiage, programs and general attitude that make up a brand voice that speaks to “working together, always learning.”