Where Have You Spotted John Deere Promotional Products?

redjarHaving been born and bred in Georgia, I am no stranger to the distinctive green and yellow logo featured on John Deere promotional products. Okay, so I grew up in the metro Atlanta area, where farmland is sparse and suburban residents have no need for heavy duty John Deere agricultural equipment to manicure their manageable front yards… Nevertheless, I had peers who would not leave home without their trademark John Deere trucker hats. I always knew that the brand had a longstanding, loyal following in the Southeast, but during my teen years, I viewed it as more of a trend- wearing John Deere paraphernalia made people my age appear “rugged” and “outdoorsy”. Looking back, I wonder if even half of the John Deere-clad teenagers I knew had ever stood within 3 feet of an actual tractor!

An article on BrandFreak.com discusses John Deere’s current campaign, called “What Will You Create.” It features actual customers who have accomplished amazing agricultural feats using John Deere equipment. For example, take Larry Carlson, a New Yorker who transformed a 5 acre potato field into a Tuscan-inspired panorama of gardens and mazes using tractors made by- you guessed it- John Deere.
Deere’s website now has a section dedicated to showcasing the videos and stories of Carlson and several other die-hard customers. The powerful testimonials justify, through anecdotal evidence and pictures, exactly why these people are so grateful for their John Deere products.

My interpretation of the campaign is that the company is trying to separate superficial supporters of the John Deere name, who will continue to sport logo apparel regardless of any real-life connections to the brand’s products, from true John Deere loyalists, who rely on the manufacturer’s trusted equipment to make a living and/or pursue their passion for the outdoors. The “cool” factor of the John Deere logo may fade over time, as most fads do, so it is crucial that the brand secure its ties with clients to ensure its continuation as an agricultural mainstay. By providing an online outlet for these “loyalists” to share their stories, John Deere is fostering a sense of community that will hopefully solidify its prominence in the agricultural world for another 170+ years.

In conclusion, yes, every brand should strive to achieve mainstream popularity, as is the case with John Deere and its recognizable logo. However, it is important not to alienate the people who buy into more than just the brand image, seeing past logos and taglines to appreciate your brand for the quality products and/or services you bring to the table. THOSE are the customers who will ultimately determine the sustainability of your business.

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