With the launch of its Intelligent Solutions Group (ISG) in 2010, John Deere reinforced its commitment to developing advanced products that, at a glance, are more Silicon Valley than farming heartland. Equipped with intuitive crop-management tools and logistic systems, John Deere customers can now sit in a self-driving combine and sift through real-time data that is analyzed to enhance next season’s planting.
The unveiling of an integrated technology strategy during its 2014 investor road show demonstrated John Deere’s commitment to customers in its innovation pipeline. As more customers need complete systems instead of individual pieces of equipment, John Deere is extending a brand synonymous with performance, durability, and reliability to one that delivers integrated analysis, proactive planning, and user-friendly design.
Even as the brand finds new relevance through technological advancement in developed markets, John Deere must fight heavy competition in emerging markets from heritage brands with long-standing connections to customers. Core equipment offerings in both agriculture and construction better address the needs of these customers, including those who are switching from non-mechanized to mechanized approaches to farming.
Despite decreases in sales and a recent shutdown of their plant near the Chinese port of Tainjin, due to an explosion, Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen remains optimistic that these markets will catch up to the brand. In his 2015 third-quarter
earnings report, he said: “In our view, favorable trends based on a growing, more affluent, and increasingly mobile population have ample staying power. For all these reasons, we have confidence in the company’s present course and its ability to deliver significant value to customers and investors in the years ahead.”