The products and services which Polyface offer are convergent in that they are located in an overlap between agriculture, training, infotainment and media. Due to this unusually stimulating convergence as well as the paradigmatic nature of their offers (see Part 1 of this blog), customers and business partners find the offers from Polyface totally convincing; indeed, absorbing. Polyface is able to raise its profile and become known without conventional marketing methods, because the solutions it offers are first, so noteworthy that they gain attention from journalists and in the social media, and second, the solutions themselves spread the word about the farm.
Polyface generates value in overlapping “technologies”, i.e. different categories of products and services, as well as in different contexts. In addition to the sale of a range of agricultural products, Polyface offers:
- three kinds of farm tours for visitors as a form of infotainment (see photo)
- training for young farmers as interns/apprentices
- a package of videos and reference guides to learn the Polyface farming methods
- ten different books
- speakers for conferences and other public appearances who explain e.g. the sales distribution techniques, farming methods and the approach to managing personnel.
Polyface outputs add value in a variety of contexts. Along with products and services for the markets with consumers and business customers such as restaurants and retailers, Polyface emphasizes the importance of family and social responsibility in the neighborhood as an important part of its method. In speaking appearances and in the videos, reference is made to topics in the context of the individual, e.g. self-optimisation, and of the family, e.g. farm succession and family life. Finally, the fundament of the farm is built on treasuring what God has given to mankind by preserving and making more fruitful the land, water and air.
These overlaps and multiple contexts represent a strategy of “convergence,” as it were. Polyface works on the interfaces between multiple industries: a new farming method not only e.g. produces more eggs but is also new content for the media products, tours and speaking engagements. The convergence is eulogised on the website in terms of what goes on the plate of its customers while giving thanks to them:
“Thank you for actively connecting the dots between earthworms, biomass, animals, and the plate. Hovering over the plate absolutely defines our hovering over the landscape. Seeing the land, the ecology, the commons (air, soil, water) through the plate is perhaps the ultimate awareness you can cultivate in your kitchen. Thank you for being our partners in this land healing ministry; we couldn’t do it without you.”
The originality of the outputs makes for absorbing solutions. Consumers and business partners are enthusiastic and loyal to the farm, wanting to buy more and more. They may start with purchasing eggs and then move on to the different meat products. The interns absorb the techniques and move on to establish and run their own farms according to the same principles. Polyface has launched numerous young farmers through the internship/apprenticeship program and built a wonderfully efficient farm guild. The next step is to leverage the guild with additional production. As Polyface sees it, the answer as to how they generate such absorption is simple: The company heals land and germinates farmers. Visitors always comment on the happy animals and happy farmers, most of whom are under the age of 35.
Another context, or community, for Polyface is its local food distribution system termed the Metropolitan Buying Club. It combines the real-time interfaces of online marketing with community-based interaction. These kind of interfaces create efficiencies and economies in local food distribution which excite the participants and those wanting to find out about the approach.
Thus, Polyface cultivates relationships with a broad range of stakeholders in a variety of contexts or communities to manage solutions which sell themselves.