Business Update

From AF CEO Jon Duffy

AF Business Update

I’ve always enjoyed good TV adverts, the best ones stay with you for years.

Amongst the best:
  • A bread delivery boy pushing a bike up a cobbled street to Dvorak’s New World Symphony (go on, hum the tune in your head)

  • A German soldier doing goalkeeper saves to bouncing bombs on the Eider Dam as the pilot ruefully sighs “ I bet he drinks...”

  • The CGI gorilla drumming to Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight

  • The Elvis-esque hunk stripping off and putting his jeans into a washing machine in a launderette whilst Heard It Through The Grapevine plays

  • Aliens mocking humans for still using the old-fashioned way to mash potato, “for mash get ...”

  • Two meerkats talking about insurance

  • Bob Hoskins sitting amongst family and friends who are chatting effortlessly on the phone as he mutters, ‘It’s good to talk’.

Such adverts are so strong that the link with the product they are promoting is just embedded within us. I purposely haven’t mentioned the brands, but I bet you know them all.

“But what has this got to do with AF?”, I hear you ask. If we dig deeper, there are lessons we can learn.

AF’s brand is one that we should all be incredibly proud of. However, I struggle at times to know how we get the ‘hook’ that links our service, product choice, product quality, ease of transaction, and value creation into the heads of all our members and future members.

Quite simply, how do we get professional farmers in the UK to naturally think ‘AF’ when they are buying goods and services? Don’t worry, we are not about to commission Saatchi and Saatchi to run TV adverts for us, but we are on a mission to increase our member commitment and to welcome many new members.
Why? Because growth will give us more leverage to offer better deals. This allows us to improve the local feel of AF and ultimately increase service levels and value back to members - simples!

Our members can help with this campaign by:
  • Being an AF brand ambassador & beating the drum. Tell your mates, rather than letting them hear it on the grapevine, that AF is not only as good now as it’s always been – it’s better

  • Come to one of our October Roadshows to hear what we're doing and tell us where we can improve – it’s good to talk

  • Embrace the digital change we offer, especially on e-billing

We are, quite possibly, about to enter the most turbulent time for UK agriculture, with support levels falling, Brexit uncertainty, loss of active ingredients, and increasing compliance and regulation – much like the rough seas and white horses of the famous Guinness surfers. But the surfers in the advert were actually waiting for the perfect wave. The best not only survived but came back to the beach stronger. At AF, we want all our members to be riding the waves to success.

The future’s bright. The future’s AF.
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