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How can I differentiate my lamb from my competitors’?

Answer: Differentiating your lamb is an important step in gaining the attention of potential customers. A good approach is to start big in scope and narrow down. It’s easy for a customer to grasp that lamb produced in Australia and shipped on a boat 11,000 miles is not going to be as fresh as your lamb that is raised locally. You might describe how your lambs freely roam on green pasture for most of their life, and this, along with the genetics in your flock, is what produces such mild-tasting meat. Tell how you finish your lambs, letting customers know that you have a proven system for producing a delicious product .

Mention that your lamb is antibiotic-, hormone-, and GMO-free. If it is certified organic, stress that. Detail how you go through all of your lambs weekly and select out those that are finished (see the ATTRA publication and video Putting a Hand on Them – How to Tell When Your Lamb is Finished) and ready to be processed. Reinforce that it is just not possible for a big feedlot to do that and explain that while these efforts increase the price somewhat, it is worth it. Then encourage them to buy your lamb and experience the difference in quality themselves.

You can also take advantage of your unique geography. For example, at Montana Highland Lamb, owners Dave Scott, an ATTRA Livestock Specialist, and his wife, Jenny, convey to their customers the environment in which their lambs are raised: high-altitude pastures with pristine water flowing through mountain valleys. “Call it the Montana Mystique, if you will; it does sell lamb,” Dave says.

Recipes and brochures highlighting the heritage of lamb producers and health merits of lamb also will increase your sales. The American Lamb Board has a wonderful website full of recipes for all cuts of lamb. The website is an effective way to reach out to the young, tech-savvy customer. If a potential customer asks you about recipes for leg of lamb (an inevitable question), direct her to the website and in no time, she can be online seeing 50 recipes for herself. It is instant credibility and a fresh bond between you and your customer.

Continue exploring this topic in the ATTRA publication Direct Marketing Lamb: A Pathway. It  describes successful marketing techniques, beginning with the finished lamb and continuing through the processing, pricing, and sale of whole and boxed lamb to today’s eager local foods customer.

You can find additional related resources on the Sheep and Goats section of the ATTRA website.

Good luck!