For over half a century Dutch Industries had been quietly making the best seed openers in the industry. In 2010, flat sales prompted the company to approach us for a fresh marketing strategy, which raised their industry profile and is yielding impressive sales to this day.
Based in Saskatchewan, Dutch has been manufacturing agricultural seed openers for over 50 years with distribution across North America and into Australia. Openers are removable attachments for air drills that shoot seeds and fertilizer into the soil. Dutch makes competitively priced, quality products to fit most brands of machine, but their messaging did not clearly communicate this. To grow their market share, their overall branding and marketing strategy needed to be revised.
The initial task was to strengthen the brand to reflect its premium nature and then establish an integrated marketing strategy. Former communication efforts focused strictly on features without completing the loop to outline the direct benefit to farmers.
Renewed Logo & Positioning
The addition of a hard-working blacksmith icon reflecting their origins) gave their traditional logo a modern and sturdy update that helped reinforce their position as a premium manufacturer. The incorporation of a new tagline, Quality For Generations, underscored Dutch’s distinct benefit of over 50 years experience as a family operation. The subsequent campaign was highly successful and went on for several years.
Uncovering the Gold Nugget
In 2014, we went to Saskatchewan, visited their operation and interviewed customers. What we learned was farmers are intensely brand-loyal and identify themselves by brand colour; a ‘green’ farm uses only John Deere, for example. Since Dutch makes openers for every brand, we translated that into an arresting rainbow messages stating that no matter what colour the farm is, Dutch has a better opener for it.
The ‘Colour’ creative resonated strongly with everyone who saw it. Refreshed marketing collateral included in-store displays, tradeshow booth, brochures, a completely redesigned catalogue, targeted radio ads, and selected print ads in farm publications. In an advertising environment dominated by shots of farm equipment, growing crops and farmer handshakes, Dutch’s simple, colourful message stood out.
Aside from their website, Dutch hadn’t ventured into the digital field. We began a strategically layered campaign of Pay Per Click Ads, some display, some all text, some retargeting. We ‘owned’ a farm farmer’s forum surrounding the page with a rainbow of ads, some brand (colour) specific. We also optimized each page of the website to heighten Google’s ability to recognize the site and then optimized for keyword searches.
We implemented a series of monthly blog posts written by Dutch’s own soil biologist to further establish their expert status on soil health and seeding expertise. These articles are also used to build out strategic content on the website, which enhances Google recognition.
sales growth since the launch of the Performance is Colour Blind campaign
sales increase since 2011
increase YOY in website traffic
The colour campaign clicked. In fact, Dutch’s increased market awareness caught the attention of a much larger market leader and sparked a spirited counter-campaign. Advertising and increased international demand spurred further expansion into Australia and the US. Thanks to a consistent brand, arresting creative and a strong digital strategy, the ‘Colour’ campaign produced 10% sales growth in its first year and the following year’s campaign matched those sales by mid-season.