Marketing entails a process by means of which product and consumer are bridged. The actual process of delivering goods and services to consumers involves production, representation, and consumption stages.
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It is important to know that marketing strategies depend largely on the type of products to be promoted to the market (Keller 2008).
In this respect, marketing a horticultural product, which has always been considered a commodity, involves a number of undercurrents that are different from those presented in marketing Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG products).
The major difference in marketing techniques lies in the connection between the production and consumption processes, competition, and the actual production process.
Thus, horticultural products should undergo a number of complex production stages before they will be delivered.
Unlike the production of FMCGs, the horticultural goods depend largely on place of production and, as a result, the terms of delivery would affect the cost-effectiveness of the product.
Along with the marketing process, branding a horticultural commodity is less popular as compared to general industrial goods. In this respect, branding horticultural product would imply emphasizing the exceptional quality of production and representation.
Marketing Horticultural Products vs. FMCG Products: Major Differences
At a glance, the production and marketing of horticultural products and FMCGs seem to be similar in terms of delivery, place of distribution, and pricing.
Both categories of products belong to non-durable type and, therefore, it is important for the producers to ensure quick marketing and sale of products. In addition, both types of goods are delivered to retail market; they should be sold within a short period of time.
However, the character of distribution, terms of production and transportation still differ significantly because horticultural goods involve perishable fruits and vegetables whereas FMCG products consist of products that undergo industrial processes.
According to Bond et al. (2006), marketing of fresh produce is more associated with the development of supply chain that would ensure direct delivery of products to the markets. In this respect, the successful marketing and distribution will depend on efficient development of local food systems.
Unlike fresh production, fast-moving products are less dependent on location and transportation because their production process can be easily established near the place of its distribution (Rao 2001).
Thus, the main condition here is to ensure quick allocation of products, as well as meeting the consumer demands. Distributed in small quantities, it is important for the manufacturers to define the right market segment.
The key success of distributing fresh product is emphasizing the quality of the product delivered to the market. In contrast, FMCG producers are more focused on the concept of competition.
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Although pricing is the common feature for both categories, they are differently reflected with the regard of features that need to be prioritized (Bond et al. 2008).
In particular, the success of fresh production marketing lies in enhancing the highest quality of the produce, which implies application of the innovative technology and enhancement of transportation roots for immediate delivery to shops (Bond et al. 2006).
Manufacturers marketing fast moving consumer goods should be more concerned with the features that influence competition, including price, place, and location. The quality is also important, but in the context of pricing.
Use Of Branding For Commodities
It has been recognized that branding of horticultural products is less popular as compared to the branding of general or industrial foods. In this respect, specific attention should be paid to the consumer choices, as well as to the factors affecting their preferences.
In this respect, Heinman and Goldschmidt (2004) state, “…the importance of brand increases with the buyer’s willingness to pay for quality, his/her level of dissatisfaction with the current quality of [fresh products] in the supermarkets, and his/her income” (p. 136).
In this respect, quality is among the primary signifiers of the success of the brand quality. The researchers have also defined that the brand preferences are largely identified by higher quality of fresh produce.
Poor differentiation in quality of fresh fruits and vegetables can be regarded as one of the most serious problems that diminish the importance of brand.
As a proof, Heinman and Goldschmidt (2004) have asserted, “…maintaining superior quality is a prerequisite for brand value, thus even if a consumer would prefer buying branded over generic oranges, he/she will not do it when the quality different is insignificant” (p. 139).
In addition, the researchers have discovered that brand importance enhances quality, as well as influences with the dissatisfaction with the fresh produce quality. Despite this fact, brand plays an important role in marketing goods at initial phase of distribution.
In conclusion, marketing horticultural products differs slightly from marketing FMCG in terms of pricing, the character of distribution and transportation, as well as focus on consumer behavior.
In addition, marketing of fresh produce focuses primarily on quality as a determining factor in branding and competition.
Despite the primary function of superior quality in sustaining a competitive advantage, branding of horticultural products enhances their marketing values and increases consumer demand because the process itself implies advertising innovative techniques that influence the product quality.
Bond, C, Thilmany, D, & Bond, J 2008, ‘Understanding Consumer Interest In Product And Process-Based Attributes For Fresh Produce’, Agribusiness, Vol. 24, No. 2, Pp. 231-252.
Bond, J, Thilmany, D, & Bond, C 2006, ‘Direct Marketing Of Fresh Produce: Understanding Consumer Purchasing Decisions’, Choices, Vol. 21, No. 4, Pp. 229-235.
Heinman, A, And Goldschmidt, EE 2004, Horttechnology, Vol. 14, No. 1, Pp. 136-140.
Keller, KL 2008, Strategic Brand Management – Building, Measuring And Managing Brand Equity, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Rao, SL 2001, ‘Rise And Fall Of Fast Moving Consumer Goods: A Marketing Story’, Economic And Political Weekly, Vol. 36, No. 46/47, Pp. 4375-4379.