Purpose: In recent years, it has become more necessary to seek and apply new strategies to strengthen the foundations and diversification of economic activities in rural areas. Accordingly, in the context of the new theories of sustainable development, one of the approaches that is of great importance for the growth and sustainability of businesses in today's complex environments is branding. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to identify businesses with branding potential in Turkmen Sahara of Golestan province in Iran. The overwhelming limitations of product marketing are supporting the declining revenues of traditional sources in dealing with competitive markets as well as trying to expand, making available and identifying regional products with a branding approach
Design/methodology/approach: In this study, we first identified and localized the branding indices and then identified the brand-liable products in the region using the Additive Ratio Assessment (ARAS) method in multi-criteria decision making.
Findings: The results showed that among the indicators of brand products in rural areas, satisfaction index with weight of 0.095 was put in the first place followed by adaptability with weight of 0.091, quality-orientation approach with a weight of 0.086 and valuable with a weight of 0.081. Also, among the common businesses and products in the region, cotton cultivation with a coefficient of 0.971 was the first priority followed by carpet weaving with a coefficient of 0.966, traditional foods with a coefficient of 0.952, Turkmen horse breeding with a coefficient of 0.943 and eco-tourism with a coefficient of 0.924 for planning the branding of products and services based on Brand Explanatory Indexes and using ARAS method.
Practical implications: The study provides a perspective on the process of branding products and services in rural areas.
Originality/value: This paper makes two major contributions: first, the introduction of branding indicators for rural businesses, and second, applying decision making models in the process of branding products and services with brand potential in rural studies.