Buyer loyalty is important and the major farm equipment companies also know it's earned. They invest in dealerships, technology and new equipment and innovations, but the majors are not alone. In fact, there are a host of smaller, fast-moving firms that want a piece of the action too and based on the survey we conducted late in 2010, there are some inroads they can make.
Spraying equipment is a point of contention in the market. That's due in part to the fact that there are several non-major makers of a range of spraying equipment to meet your needs. In the survey more than half say they would look at another brand than their favorite to check out spraying technology.
When it comes to tillage equipment that number rises above 60% interested in looking at other brands. This is a competitive market segment with all the key players - from majors to shortliners - offering a wide range of technology. And farmers are looking for solutions to current tillage problems from higher residue issues to vertical tillage choices.
Interestingly, planting equipment was more closely split, but a slim majority (barely within the margin of error) leaned toward sticking to their main brand. That may be due in part to the significant increase in major-brand seeding technology over the past five years.
While this study of farmers with gross farm income above $250,000 shows that brand loyalty is not dead, we'll be revisiting the same survey in two years to start measuring where you may be heading on this score. The graphic below shows how farmers looked at the different equipment classes and the potential to switch colors for each.