Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Relevance of Networking Strategy in Agribusiness: An Italian Empirical Case Study

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Relevance of Networking Strategy in Agribusiness: An Italian Empirical Case Study

Article excerpt


This work aims to analyze the role of network business and agglomeration economies in the agribusiness, emphasizing how an integrated marketing strategy generates benefits to entrepreneurs, to the supply chain, to the internal and external stakeholders, increasing the bargaining power of businesses and improving their competitiveness.

The analysis focuses on the agri-food businesses in the Plain of Fucino-an agricultural area in Southern Italy, proceeding with Swot Analysis, and measuring the most significant limitations-in terms of corporate culture, size of company, logistics and distribution capabilities, market dimension, seasonal nature of the work.

Finally, in the managerial implications, the Author highlights the strategies through which agribusinesses may exceed the limits identified.

Keywords: network economies, agribusiness, brand strategy, supply chain, place marketing

1. Introduction and Objectives

The increasing importance of network economies leads the Author to identify the reasons why some agri-food businesses create an integrated system capable of communicating a unique brand that is nationwide and worldwide successful. This success is based on a shared strategy among the different enterprises, which aims to promote and sell the products of a specific place as a result of a single system. On the other hand it is considered significant focus on major limitations that prevent companies from creating a local network to achieve significant competitive advantages, although tangible and intangible resources can yield excellent products.

The strategic relevance of these topics is highlighted by EU, which has acted in order to promote the integration between businesses, and between them and their understandings, placing these issues at the center of CAP 2014-2020, in which the EU has indicated that it will be difficult to resolve the current situation and the crisis of sales by individual companies.

So in the first part of the paper, the Author describes the conceptual framework on the issue of agglomeration economies and he explains a brief review of the literature. Later, he will proceed to the analysis of an empirical case that has interesting tangible resources and many agri-food businesses, but nonetheless it fails to create an efficient network of businesses and a competitive brand: the plain of Fucino.

The research comes to identify the main limitations to the launch of a branding strategy, through the SWOT analysis method, and to formulate a development strategy immediately applicable to the analyzed place.

2. Research Question

This research aims to identify what might be the main reasons why some areas and some networks of agribusinesses fail to plan a comprehensive and integrated brand strategy, which makes recognizable and unique products that by their nature are generally undifferentiated-especially fresh food. The objective is to define the limits for which some enterprises fail to achieve significant competitive advantages while having available discrete areas of production, spatial proximity and natural resources, such as to be potentially excellent food producers.

In particular, the work focuses on the single case of plain of Fucino: after an analysis of secondary data, the Author proceeds with a SWOT analysis in order to highlight the limits to the development of the territory and, in a second phase of the research, to prepare a questionnaire to be submitted to agribusiness, in order to plan a development strategy.

3. Literature Review

Many studies about network business and agglomeration economies have shown that the cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises may represent a fundamental choice for their development and their growth; starting from 1972, with the contribution of Pfeffer, many researches demonstrated the importance of inter-organizational relationships such as strategic resource to competitive strengthen of companies. …

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