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The farm-based entrepreneur’s marketing mix: a case study from the local food sector

Stine Alm Hersleth (Department of Innovation, Consumer and Sensory Science, Nofima AS, Ås, Norway)
Elin Kubberød (School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway)
Antje Gonera (Department of Innovation, Consumer and Sensory Science, Nofima AS, Ås, Norway)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 22 April 2022

Issue publication date: 27 June 2022

361

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the market creation practices of farm-based entrepreneurs in the local food sector. Alternative marketing channels for farm-based products increase, but it is not known how entrepreneurs work to position their products in the marketplace. By expanding on the research of farm-based entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial marketing (EM), this study explores the entrepreneurial practices that farm-based entrepreneurs use through the lens of the EM mix (EMM) and its constituent dimensions: person, purpose, practice and process.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a multiple case study design and follows a phenomenological approach in conducting in-depth retrospective interviews with 11 successful farm-based entrepreneurs in the local food sector in Norway.

Findings

The thematic analysis revealed four key EM practices of the study’s farm-based entrepreneurs: transferring the farm or transforming the farm as the primary purpose; legitimising a local brand through the uniqueness of person, purpose and place; using a personal networking approach in the market development process and flexible and controllable market expansion practices. These elements constitute the pillars of successful, creative and resource-efficient market development.

Originality/value

The study represents a pioneering attempt to explore and conceptualise EM within farm-based entrepreneurship. The findings ultimately give rise to a novel framework: the farm-based entrepreneur’s marketing mix (FEMM).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the participants for their contribution to the research. This research was supported by the Fund for Research Fees for Agricultural Products (FFL) through the project InnoFood (262303).

Citation

Hersleth, S.A., Kubberød, E. and Gonera, A. (2022), "The farm-based entrepreneur’s marketing mix: a case study from the local food sector", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 176-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRME-12-2020-0166

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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