Gaining consumer trust is difficult enough when much of the population has no real ties to the food they eat. But what’s even harder is gaining attention. That’s why I encourage ag companies to work with farmers in gaining consumer trust and attention.
By working with farmers, especially those who interact daily with consumers via traditional and social media, ag companies get the benefit of an authentic farmer voice (which consumers trust over companies) as well as amazing insights into what grabs consumers’ attention. Farmers who interact with consumers know what works with them.
This is exactly what happened with the #MilkFlipCup challenge. This social media competition occurred between farmers and others during National Dairy Month.
It was a simple idea from farmers Jessica Peters (Pennsylvania), Tara Vander Dussen (New Mexico), Hannah Vander Poel (Idaho), Becca Hilby (Wisconsin) and dairy professional Bec Shaw. They used Instagram Live to video themselves taking on each other at Flip Cup. If you don’t know the game, it’s easy. Get five plastic cups of milk, chug the milk, flip the cup. The winner successfully flips all of their cups. They got other farmers to participate to raise $4,000 for Feeding America, and they succeeded.
But the real magic came when ag and apparel companies (Diamond V, First Defense Calf Health, Key Apparel, Dekalb, and DriDuck) wanted to be part of the competition. They matched donations, apparel and prizes, and the #MilkFlipCup challenge took off during July. And you can’t beat the results.
The donation to Feeding America reached $5,925 that Diamond V is matching. Key Apparel donated an additional $1,000. But a real win came from the consumers’ trust that grew from seeing farmers having fun and interacting with them. More than 45 IGTV videos of competition from public accounts generated 300,000 views. While they couldn’t track everything, these are significant numbers considering the engagement they had.
I congratulate the farmers who started this and those who participated. During this time of COVID-19, it’s great to see positive stories from ag and this delivered and then some. I again encourage ag companies to consider partnering with farmers to reach out to consumers — have some fun and earn their trust along the way. When we work together, we can accomplish so much more.