Development of Operational Strategies for Branding Ferula assa- foetida L. Medicinal Plant (Case study: Rangelands of Kerman Province, Iran)
Kerman province has a high ranking in terms of the area of the medicinal herb Ferula assa-foetida</em>; a species of Umbelliferae family. The oleo-gum-resin is extracted from its roots and used in medicine and industry. It has a great economic value for beneficiaries and exporters. As branding is one of the important issues in the field of natural resource economy, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the branding strategies of this medicinal plant using SWOT (- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) technique in Kerman province, Iran. In this regard, a random sample of 19 experts working in this field was obtained. The necessary data were collected by interviewing and completing the questionnaire in the summer of 2017. After identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Ferula assa-foetida branding, strategies were formulated using Analytical Network Process (ANP) technique to determine their weights. The results showed that Kerman province is in Strength-Opportunity (SO) situation in terms of branding potential. Therefore, in line with this situation, five strategies and nine operational plans were identified and prioritized based on the marketing mix elements (4Ps, Product, Price, Place and Promotion) and using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique, respectively. Price and product strategies are considered more significant than place and promotion strategies. The operational price program of imitating the model of successful countries in the field of processing, pricing and branding of medicinal herb (with the weight of 0.337) was considered by experts as the first priority. Therefore, making the studies target to utilize natural situations properly, sweet and bitter type of operation, and resistance to pests and diseases of this medicinal plant under the supervision of the Forests and Rangelands Organization of Iran are good solutions for continuous presence in the domestic and foreign markets.