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Claire Brown, from the New Food Economy, talks about meat trends at the Women in Meat Northeast Conference last weekend in Massachusetts.

PETERSHAM, Mass. — During the past decade, Fleisher’s Craft Butchery has grown its brand to create a strong following in the New York area. According to Sam Garwin, butcher and CEO of Fleisher’s Craft Butchery, the idea of “brand” guides them in everything they do.

Garwin spoke to an audience of women working in the meat and livestock industry at last weekend’s Women in Meat Northeast Conference, which took place at Harvard Forest in Petersham Oct. 22-24.

Garwin said that Fleisher’s Craft Butchery does not sell organic certified meats, and they specifically tell customers that information. But, by having employees available to answer any customers’ questions about their meat and organic certification, they are able to generally make a sale. This type of human contact is one of their brand values.

“We want to be there for people,” Garwin said. “We don’t want to be a faceless, nameless corporation.”

But, she said, that success didn’t happen overnight. The brand started with a husband and wife team 13 years ago who used slogans on T-shirts to do their marketing. Over the years, the marketing has evolved, according to Garwin.

“This doesn’t happen overnight,” Garwin said. “There is no such thing as an overnight sensation.”

Fleisher’s Craft Butchery has experienced several rebranding efforts. Additionally, the company has examined ways to improve customer experience, which also impacts its brand.

For example, in the past, the butchery shop was known for its custom cuts of meat to order. However, this was difficult because it required a whole carcass to be sold directly to the butchery shop’s retail locations. When the stores determined that customer experience wouldn’t suffer if they offered final cuts at the retail location, instead of cutting to order, they made the switch.

“You can (do both) when you figure out what consumers care about,” Garwin said, as she explained that they still do custom cuts — however, now it takes advance notice.

This type of market research has helped shape the Fleisher’s Craft Butchery during its rebranding processes. While details such as cut-up can impact the brand of the company, it is important to focus on the big picture.

“Your brand has nothing to do with what the customer can’t see,” Garwin said.

Using dish soap as an example, Garwin went on to explain that if the consumers don’t see you using a certain dish soap, you shouldn’t spend a significant amount of time making a decision on what kind of soap to use.

As part of the workshop, Garwin discussed the concepts of vision, mission and value, and had participants draft these for their own businesses.

Garwin concluded the session by discussing Fleisher’s Craft Butchery marketing, including how it uses social media. From brand touchpoints to the relationships it forms with its online community, she provided the audience members with tips and tricks they can utilize to improve their business marketing.

More information can be found at www.fleishers.com.

Katelyn Parsons is a freelance writer in Massachusetts.