The influence of merging brands on the brand position in the global open–field vegetable seed sector
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The study deals with the concept of the influence of merging brands on the brand position in the global open–field vegetable seed sector. The research, more specifically, examines the market perception and awareness of the brand regarding the company versus the competitive brands. Monsanto, as a company, deals in the market as Seminis. A tailor–made questionnaire was used as the measuring instrument. A total of 1177 respondents completed the questionnaires during interview sessions. Interviews were done by the marketing and product management teams of Monsanto as well as a consultancy firm, Market Probe. Mostly growers from the North and South America (NAFTA) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions were interviewed. Data analysis was done by means of descriptive statistics. The study concludes that in terms of top–of–mind awareness, Seminis is in a very competitive position within the NAFTA market, but trails Nunhems and Bejo in the EMEA market. While the individual Syngenta seed brands have low unaided brand awareness, Syngenta is frequently cited, on an unaided basis, as a brand of vegetable seed in both NAFTA and EMEA. No particular brand, in either NAFTA or EMEA, seems to have distinguished itself in either a positive or negative manner over the past five years. From an overall image perspective Seminis has a strong competitive position. For the most part, on a total sample basis, there is a lack of clear brand differentiation between Seminis and its top competitors in both NAFTA and EMEA. There seems to be little risk in linking Monsanto to Seminis and, in fact, Monsanto may be a “reason to believe” if Seminis is to be positioned around a product performance or innovation theme.