From the Desk of the Branded Program Managers – Branded Application Best Practices

Food Export - Midwest Branded Program Manager Molly Burns shares some best practices to keep in mind when submitting your 2021 Branded Program application.

By Molly Burns, Branded Program Manager, Food Export – Midwest

Once a month the Food Export – Midwest and Food Export – Northeast Branded Program Managers will be jumping onto the blog to personally address your questions and give detailed advice about the program.

Keep an eye out for future editions of this blog series!

It’s that time of year again, when we see a huge spike in application submissions. We are excited to support your (and hundreds of companies’) marketing plans in 2021!

As you work on your Branded Program application, here are a few tips to help you:

1. Read the 2021 Branded Program Manual

It’s worth at least a once-over, to see what’s eligible and how to be reimbursed. Call us if you’re new and/or have questions!

2. Prep your data

You’re going to need some information to complete the application. It helps to have these ready:

  • List of marketing activities by country. If you need help preparing a marketing plan, check out these resources. Only include countries where you will spend marketing dollars or where you have a reimbursable show/event.
  • Estimated cost for your marketing activities.
  • Product sales. This includes domestic sales and export sales. You’ll need 2019-2020 sales history and sales projections for 2021-2022.
  • If applicable, contact info for your importer(s). You only need to add your importer if you’ll be reimbursing them for marketing expenses.


3. Add a U.S. tradeshow plan

If you are exhibiting at an eligible US tradeshow (see list on page 37 of the Branded Program Manual), make sure to choose the United States in the list of countries in your application.


4. Provide strong but realistic sales goals

We approve applications with strong sales goals compared to the funding request. If your sales projections are low compared to your funding request, let us know why. If your marketing plans are meant for more than one market (ex. You are exhibiting at a show in Germany that will impact all your EU sales), include sales projections for all those markets.


5.You can make some changes later

Through a “contract change”, you can add new markets, request additional funds, add new products, and include a new importer. You can make these changes throughout the year.


6. Submit by December 31, 2020

If your application is received by December 31, 2020 then any 2021 activity is eligible!

As always, if you have any questions about the application process on your reimbursement claim documentation, you can contact your Branded team, we’re here to help.