Marketing and branding training delivered for two cooperative unions in Ethiopia
Bench Maji Forest Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (BMFCFU) and Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (OCFCU) have set BHAG’s for value addition and enhanced export market destinations in the short and long term. To realise this, Agriterra has been supporting them through a 3-day training from 15 through 17 August.
The general objective of the marketing and branding training was to provide specific support to BMFCFU and OCFCU in strengthening their output marketing performance of export coffee products through professionalising their marketing and branding strategies. The training was delivered by Mrs Cecile Snijders, an experienced Agripool expert in marketing and branding. She was accompanied by three co-facilitators from the Agriterra Ethiopia team, namely Mr Hailat Berhane, Habtamu Mekonnen and Dawit Setegn. The co-facilitators supported in facilitating the training, moderating, and translating to the local language, and guiding and following up the assignments and action plans.
Before the start of the training, the Agriterra Ethiopia team organised a visit to OCFCU to familiarise Mrs Snijders with the coffee sector business by visiting coffee shops, and coffee processing factories, and discussions with the management. The visit provided a good first impression of the level of professionalism of branding and marketing of OCFCU’s One-Koo Coffee. One-Koo is the own brand of OCFCU. They are serving the local/domestic market of Oromia. During the visit, they had a very open conversation about the ambitions and challenges of the coffee union. Mr Dejene Dadi, the general manager of OCFCU, emphasised the importance of professionalising the marketing and branding of the union, and he was very grateful that Agriterra organised this the marketing and branding training.
After a brief introduction on the first day of the training, the training started with the theoretical part namely: what is branding, what is marketing, the marketing plan: six steps, external analysis, buyer analysis, and value chain analysis. The participants learned the basic theoretical knowledge of branding and marketing and the marketing approach in six steps. The participants were also working on assignments (buyer analysis and value chain analysis). The participants did appreciate the structured approach in the training and liked the examples of branding in the slides and the practical assignments.
Day two started after a recap of day one. In this session, trainees learnt about the marketing analysis steps such as value chain internal analysis (current marketing mix (5 p’s)) and marketing SWOT. Likewise, the second day of the training consisted of a combination of theory and assignments. From the trainer's point of view, the assignment marketing SWOT analysis showed that the participants were adopting the marketing approach in six steps to use it as a guideline for professionalising their marketing and branding strategy. They did a good job of picking out the main points from both the internal and external analysis.
On day three, they started with a theoretical presentation on the analysis steps of marketing such as the assignment of product market combinations, adapting the marketing mix and branding to targeted product-market combinations, the assignment of PMC and brand story, and action plan. The participants managed to work consistently and the output of the previous assignments was used as input for the next assignments. Trainees were motivated and worked up to the very last minute of the training, and they were happy and proud to get the certificates at the end of the day. The participants were especially happy to have practical results and felt confident to work out the next steps after the training. We made concrete appointments to do a proper follow-up.