Photo of Joe Myers at Jersey Seafood event - Click to enlarge

For Immediate Release: December 22, 2010
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Department of Agriculture Aquaculture Specialist Joseph Myers will lead a panel discussion titled, “Effectively Developing and Managing Your Brand,” on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Aquaculture America 2011, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Aquaculture America, sponsored by the U.S. Aquaculture Suppliers Association, National Aquaculture Association and the U.S. Aquaculture Society, is the largest aquaculture conference and exposition in the western hemisphere.  This session on brand strategy, in its second year, is part of the producer sessions sponsored by the National Aquaculture Association.

The session will stress the importance of developing a unique marketing position as part of a well-rounded business plan.  Myers helped launch the Jersey Seafood branding program in 2006, which aims to develop passion in the marketplace for seafood, just as  the 26-year-old Jersey Fresh branding program has done for  fruits and vegetables grown in New Jersey. 

“When a brand becomes a valuable asset to your business, not only does it help increase sales, it also acts as an insurance policy against declines when your product or category faces a challenge in the marketplace,” said Myers.  “Even if marketing budgets decline for Jersey Fresh, the brand still means a great deal to consumers.  That is the power of a good brand.”

Panelists in this session will include people who have developed successful brands in the aquaculture business.  Robert Rheault, CEO of Spatco, Ltd., the grower of Moonstone Oysters, and President of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, said since more than 90 percent of U.S. aquaculture producers are classified as “small farms,” niche and local markets are usually critical for their survival, especially for start-ups.

“Developing a strong brand identity can boost profits by 5-10 percent or more and should be considered a critical part of your firm's market development strategy,” said Rheault.  “But developing a brand identity takes time and a consistent strategy. Learn the keys to developing and marketing a brand from someone who has done it and save yourself from repeating the costly mistakes of others.” 

Myers will talk about an interesting dynamic of brand management -- that of shared ownership.  A company owns its brand, but there also is a strong ownership consumers feel toward the brands they know and love.  An example would be the negative reaction a popular orange juice brand incurred when it tried to do away with its well-known ‘straw in the orange’ logo a few years ago.

One of the most successful brands in the aquaculture industry, Troutlodge, was founded in 1945 and now is the world’s leading producer of eyed salmonid eggs, shipping to more than 50 countries yearly. 

“For us, branding is all about differentiation and controlling the message,” said Andrew Barfoot, Troutlodge Director of Sales and Marketing.  “It’s a matter of reflecting the value that is received through our products, while also adding to that perceived value.  What consumers see in our logo, our advertising, or on our website is often the first impression they have of Troutlodge, and we want that impression to match with what they can expect to receive from us.”

Panelists also will include Bill Achor who manages Empyreal 75 for Cargill Corn Milling, and returning panelists from the 2010 session: Tim Grooms of YSI, Inc. and Bruce Vizueta of Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc.

Audience interaction with the panelists will be key, designed to provide attendees with a great deal of useful information so they can replicate others’ success in marketing their aquaculture products.  Session-goers should come prepared to share stories, challenge strategies and likewise be challenged, because this is where the real work in developing a brand gets hashed out.

Myers has been with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for seven years and recently earned his Master of Business Administration in the Executive Food Marketing Program at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

For more information about Aquaculture America 2011, the conference brochure can be found at:

For online registration, visit:

To learn more about the Jersey Fresh branding program, go to: or

To learn more about the Jersey Seafood branding program, go to: