DFA Consumer Marketing Expert Lends Perspective to Discussion
Recognizing the significance young members have in the future of their cooperatives, Ted Sowle represented Dairy Farmers of America at the Northeast Cooperative Council's Future Cooperative Leaders Conference this week in Batavia, N.Y.
The annual conference is comprised of cooperative members who show potential for leading a cooperative in the future through governance or management. The conference allows participants the opportunity to learn more about the cooperative business structure, as well as cooperative leadership and how a cooperative business builds value to the farm operation.
Sowle, assistant vice president of consumer marketing at DFA, served on a panel designed to highlight the importance of brand equity. DFA manufactures and markets several well-known, high-quality brands found in grocery stores throughout the country. Sowle's primary responsibility is to ensure that DFA grows brand equity for each of the brands in the Cooperative's portfolio.
Sowle discussed the various factors that comprise brand equity, such as brand awareness, a brand's personality and most importantly, brand loyalty. Sowle also expressed the importance of allocating resources for new product development.
Joining Sowle on the panel were Karen Murphy of Farm Credit East, Ken Voelker of Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. and Rob Smith of National Grape Cooperative Association.
"Working for a cooperative is gratifying because you are working for families who are like yours," Sowle said. "That sentiment was evident with the other panelists too, as they discussed their approaches to maximizing brand equities and values for their cooperatives."