Giving you Marketing Tips from one of Perthshire’s Top Producers
Last week, Mark Bush welcomed the Great Perthshire business network for a tour of the Summer Harvest farm and business – a tour we also feature on Blue Noun’s Meet the Makers immersion English language holidays.
Mark Bush is a charismatic champion of his brand – and an engaging storyteller. If you are lucky enough to be invited to visit his farm, you will learn about the journey of growing his business, designing his products and building his brand.
He’s candid – and happily shares accidental discoveries, and mistakes – all aspects of the massive learning journey he’s on in his business.
It’s a dynamic, information-packed visit, that like his product, begins with learning about the farm.
Read on to discover the 6 Marketing Tips Mark generously shared with us.
Just for the Blue Noun blog, it’s Meet the Makers professional English – online!
Firstly, however, a quick introduction to his farm.
An Introduction to Circular Farming
To begin with, Mark describes moving to Scotland from Wales and settling down on his father-in-law’s Ferneyfold Farm which has been in his wife’s family for 130 years.
It was completely different from his previous life as an I.T. consultant on a trading floor of an investment bank in London.
After just a short time on the farm, he realised that he needed his own space within it. He sought out one aspect or opportunity of farm life to diversify and make his own.
After a few experiments, he settled on one crop – oil seed, and began small-scale production, experimenting to create specialist oils.
A visit to the Ferneyfold Farm is to see the Summer harvest production units – and to hear about the inventing, market research, designing, marketing, selling and scaling of the Summer Harvest oils – now featured on menus all across Scotland.
It’s also to discover the concept of ‘circular farming’ – which is quite simply the opposite of industrial farming.
In circular farming, farmers are stewards of the land rather than abusers. The livestock and crops are balanced so that the harvest feeds and beds the animals. Rotational crops keep the ground nourished and pollinators and biodiversity thrive. Traditional circular farming methods keep farms self-sufficient and less vulnerable to fluctuating market prices.
Mark’s introduction to the farm is the backdrop for explaining all his products and business decisions: He’s not just producing for an audience or market – he has an additional business parameter of working within the context of a working, land-managed, season-driven farm.
Meet the Makers | Professional English | Marketing
Below are short video clips of the Summer Harvest tour – which I have edited into 6 short marketing tips.
Of course, there was much more to see and learn too – perhaps it’s time to join Blue Noun for an immersion English holiday for artists and makers to get the full experience.
Our English language coaching is based on Meet the Makers experiences – providing rich tourism, interesting conversations and of course – professional English practice for artists, designers, creatives and makers.
Marketing Tip 1. Listen to Your Customers
Mark Bush of Summer Harvest Oils describes how one of his popular products – a range of dressings came about.
Marketing Tip 2. Be Open to Luck
Mark describes how the bottle design (the positioning of the label) happened.
Marketing Tip 3. Put Your Product in front of the Right Audience
Throughout the tour, the conversation bounces around as ideas and opinions are shared.
This conversation touches on marketing and getting your product known to the right people. (I’ve been marketing my own business for three years now – it seems to me that sometimes the most obvious things are somehow the most easily missed)
Marketing Tip 4. Explain your Business to Others
Mark tells how applying for the Scottish Food and Drink Awards was beneficial as it forced him to look inwards at his business plan, past achievements and future.
Marketing Tip 5. Consult Other Professionals
Mark turned his time talking to potential customers to his advantage – and quizzed them about the best format, packaging – and distribution tips.
Marketing Tip 6 : Work to your Retail
By understanding the retail needs and processes, Mark developed packaging to help make his product more attractive to retailers.
Meet the Makers Immersion English language holidays
Our English language holidays are for professionals who want to learn about the ‘real Scotland’ while practising English in professional contexts.
If you would enjoy an English language holiday in Scotland with this kind of content – then find out about our Meet the Makers Immersion English language holidays here.