« May 2014 Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Stand behind your brand
By Fiona Robinson
May 01, 2014
Welcome to our annual Top 25 North American Seafood Suppliers issue. Readers have used this feature year after year as a barometer of the industry, a “who’s who” of the top seafood suppliers. Sixteen years of publishing the list has given our editors a bird’s-eye view of the trends impacting the big guns on an annual basis.
This year’s themes include the normal fallout from consolidation and impact of higher prices. One of the big purchasers in recent years has been High Liner Foods. Company President Keith Decker told James Wright, SeaFood Business senior editor, that the company’s strategy for successful acquisitions has been to focus on buying trusted brands. “Brands set you apart and if you can buy great brands they come with an intrinsic value to the customer and the consumer,” says Decker.
The importance of such branding was the topic of a seminar I moderated at Seafood Expo North America, Sustainability of a Brand: Strategies for Developing and Maintaining a Seafood Brand. Attendees were told that a brand is clear, concise and motivates a buyer to take action. And above all, a brand is not just a logo on a package; it’s the fishermen or farmers who harvest the seafood, and everything behind the product that conveys credibility and loyalty. Panelist Jon Stamell, founder of Future Shift in New York, summed it up best: “Your brand is a promise,” he said.
The companies on our Top 25 list got as big as they are by delivering that promise to customers who in turn want to invest. These suppliers have put time and money behind marketing and post-launch research to garner reactions to the product and packaging. If your brand doesn’t deliver consistent taste and value, what do you do? You spend the time on R&D to look at your strengths and weaknesses. You consider the desires of the buyers and which needs may be unmet.
At the end of the day, if you can’t stand for your brand, what do you stand for?Fiona Robinson is associate publisher and editor of SeaFood Business
magazine and joined SFB in
1997. Robinson is on the board of directors for SeaShare, a Seattle
organization that works to get nutritious protein into food banks and
feed centers across America.