Developing a Brand Strategy for Cortland County Agricultural Food Products

Agriculture in Cortland County is a $62.9M business comprised of approximately 518 farms utilizing over 36% of the land. To help increase the vitality of Cortland County producers who make use of direct and intermediated market channels a local organization, Seven Valley’s Health Coalition (SVHC), has received a USDA-Local Foods Promotion Program grant to develop a marketing strategy for Cortland county agricultural products. Unfortunately, they overlooked the development of a branding strategy, a critical prior step. This internship proposes to develop a brand positioning statement, unique selling proposition, and branding strategy for Cortland County agricultural products which will then be available for use by SVHC, and others, when developing a marketing strategy for Cortland County agricultural products.

Roles and responsibilities 

The intern will develop a brand positioning statement, a unique selling proposition, and a branding strategy by differentiating Cortland County agricultural products using the 3C’s approach: consumer, company, competitors. They will start off by identifying the target consumer and then build an understanding of the needs and desires of said consumer. Concurrently, they will analyze the current position of agricultural food producers in Cortland county and their competitors. Finally, the intern will bring these lessons together to identify the strengths of Cortland county agricultural food products and develop a brand positioning statement. This brand positioning statement will then be used to create a unique selling proposition (phrase and tagline) and branding strategy. The student intern will be required to perform primary and secondary market and literature research, including survey and/or interview development and analysis, over the course of their internship.

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to students in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Will be signed up for spring 2021 Engaged Learning Course Comm 3080/3081
  • Students should have some communication skills and an understanding of sustainability issues
  • Ideally from relevant majors including nutrition, agriculture economics, environmental sciences, and communication

Learning outcomes 

  • Understand and apply environmental and sustainability communication theory in diverse settings
  • Effectively communicate environmental and sustainability issues across multiple platforms
  • Collaborate with community partners to achieve strategic communication goals
  • Integrate communication theory and practice to develop strategies to meet a real-world need
  • Develop and analyze surveys and/or interviews (quantitative and qualitative)