IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Brand-Based Competition in the Agri-Food Sector: Evidences from Italian SMEs

Listed author(s):
  • DelVecchio, Pasquale
  • Ndou, Valentina
  • Sadguy, Nezha
Registered author(s):

    In a scenario characterized by the globalization of the markets, the competitiveness of firms across the industries and mainly in the agri-food sector is linked to their capability to make distinguishable their products and communicate their uniqueness. Branding can concretely answer to these needs allowing firms to compete by communicating the quality and all that set of factors that differentiate their own offer by the competitors. Anyway, brand management in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is a field of study in its infancy, and one in which real interest was shown only during the final decade of the previous century. Although considerable literature has been published about brand management in general, all theory and case studies are focused only on multinationals and big companies operating in the food sectors, such as Coca Cola, Unilever, Procter & Gamble. This is however ignoring the fact that more than 95% of businesses in the European Union are small and medium enterprises (Eurostat 2004) and that this composition, confirmed in the agrifood sectors, contribute to make the European market extremely interesting and profitable. The objective of this paper aims to contribute to already existing research in the field and shows the role and importance of brand management in food SMEs and all the key factors that supports it. Our analysis will highlight as the term brand in agri-food SMEs is initiated and supported by an active role of the entrepreneur who is a fundamental actor in the achievement of brand recognition. Thus, directors and managers of small food companies should place brand management in a top position in their daily mind set, since achieving brand recognition starts inside the organization itself. Beside, the paper describes the real opportunity offered by new technologies (web, internet, B2B…) that allows small food companies to build their brand in a more effective way and reach a larger market in a low cost. To meet these objectives a qualitative research methodology was carried based on case studies, since this latter allows to understand more in detail firm’s behaviours and strategies. The food small and medium enterprises that were selected are located in the South of Italy and all of them have a web-site. These case studies were built based on structured questionnaires that have been firstly sent by mail, and was followed by face to face interviews with entrepreneurs and director of sales and marketing department. The results obtained are extremely interesting and representative of the importance of brand management both for food SMEs, as key element to innovate, grow and to be distinguished as well as for the entrepreneur in building, through the use of new technologies, a successful brand management strategy of his own company.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 110th Seminar, February 18-22, 2008, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria with number 49890.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Oct 2008
    Handle: RePEc:ags:eea110:49890
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Anonymous & Gehlhar, Mark J., 2005. "New Directions In Global Food Markets," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33751, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eea110:49890. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.