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At MarketPlace, we pride ourselves on being not only a branding and business development firm but also experts in our chosen industries, including food + beverage. Most of the time, we put that expertise to work serving companies within our industries, helping them sell food products, ingredients, or sometimes appliances. Recently, however, we met with an intriguing task: helping a company outside the food industry speak to the food industry in its own language.

Helping Brands Navigate the Food Industry

For the last few months, we’ve been working with Sage, a worldwide provider of accounting and manufacturing software, to help them reach their desired audience of food and beverage companies. For over thirty years, Sage has provided powerful software tools to help small and midsized companies manage their finances and operations with less hassle and more profit. Among the customers they serve, food and beverage companies make up a not-insignificant share, particularly for Sage ERP X3, their most powerful solution. The quality of their products (as well as the culinary associations of their name) make it unsurprising that Sage has achieved a significant measure of success in the food industry.

Still, the company felt they could be doing even more, especially in North America, where the number of their food and beverage clients for Sage ERP X3 was smaller. With a highly complex product and a lack of deep expertise in food, Sage often found that prospects felt Sage didn’t understand their business. With several competitors explicitly targeting the food industry, this was a problem. Accordingly, Sage looked to MarketPlace to help them talk to their customers like an industry insider.

Unleashing Sage’s Potential

We started the project with a comprehensive discovery process, helping us understand Sage’s technology and their business model as well as the marketing challenges they faced. From there, we researched and wrote a brand and messaging guide detailing how Sage should speak to and interact with the food industry, making recommendations ranging from the right words to use to appropriate places to launch a new campaign. From beginning to end, we used our insider expertise to help Sage navigate the food industry and speak in a language it will understand.

Building on that rebrand, we have provided support and intelligence to Sage as they reach out to the industry through trade shows, email marketing, media, and direct mail. We created targeted marketing collateral aimed at helping Sage reach and engage the industry and determined the best venues for their message. Most recently, we built and launched a web presence aimed at helping Sage educate the industry about their product and reach appropriate leads with content marketing. Despite very tight deadlines, we were able to build the new Sage ERP X3 Food and Beverage Resource Center and produce a wealth of new content, including white papers and blog posts, aimed at raising Sage’s profile in the food industry. Although the site is still new, we’re very excited about its potential for building industry awareness of Sage ERP X3 and capturing pertinent leads for the Sage sales team.

With the new brand position and resource center as foundations, we’re excited to continue our partnership with Sage, sharing our insider expertise to help them talk to our industry. If you could use similar intelligence and strategic creative, call or email and we’ll explore how we can help your business.

Matt Miller staff photo
Matt Miller writes, teaches, and practices biodynamic gardening near Reeds Spring, Missouri. A MarketPlace alum with a background in academic research, he’s fascinated with how culture, media, and business interact—and equally with the best methods of cultivating healthy fruit trees.