26 New York Dairy Farmers, Selling Milk and What It Can Teach You About Local Business Marketing

in On Local Business Marketing

Today we’re going to talk about what 26 dairy farmers in upstate New York can teach you about marketing your local small business.


Imagine waking up one morning to find the cost to produce your premium product had doubled while the demand for it plummeted…

Now imagine you’re in one of the few industries where you can’t pass production costs directly on to the consumer. Your price point is someone else’s decision, and they’ve determined it’s worth 50% less now than it was a few months ago.

What would you do then?

It’s a scary thought, huh. But sadly, it’s reality for most American dairy farmers.

In upstate New York where over 300 farms used to be, only 26 remain. Rising production costs and record-low retail prices have forced most farmers to sell their land for development. And in the face of this recession, one group of New York dairy farmers found a way to beat the bad economy and make a profit to boot.


In an effort to stay in business, the farmers that remained banded together to share production costs and know-how. They formed a co-op, and reposition their products with a very specific new marketing message relevant to their local community.

Now, not only are they thriving, but they’re profiting in an industry where most others go bankrupt.

What it means for you

Ok …  you’re not a dairy farmer, and a cop-opt probably isn’t an option for you.

The lesson for you here is in the marketing.

Since undercutting the prices of larger supermarkets wasn’t an option, these dairy farmers did the opposite and raised their prices!

Sounds counter intuitive, I know. But here’s the thing…

The reason they were able to charge higher prices  -and get them-  is because they strategically positioned and marketed their dairy as a premium local product.

Now, I know what you’re thinking … “My industry is different. People in my area only care about the best deal, the cheapest price, and the most convenient option. The economy stinks. Ect.”

And here’s what I have to say to you: BS!!!

Look, I’m not saying you can do it by copying what the competition is doing, by sharing sorrows at the Chamber of Commerce, or by asking people who are just as fed up as you might be.

I assure you … there are ways…

You can charge a premium price and get it. You can attract new customers and keep existing ones without undercutting the competition or begging for a sale. You can market effectively without being sleazy or underhanded. And you can do it all with the respect and admiration you deserve … when you know how.

In fact if you pay attention to the material I’m putting out going forward, not only will I prove to you it’s possible, but I’ll give you the resources and tools to make it a reality.

Keep your eye on my blog; some very exciting things are happening very soon.

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