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Branding cows or branding business? Neither is easy.

We’re talking about brand strategy here.  Not advertising, and certainly not an easy grasp for amateur marketers.  So how developed is your company’s brand?  Is your message clear, concise and consistent?

There is a process used by professionals to get to clear messaging.  It starts with “discovery,” the process of finding the strengths of the company in the minds of all stakeholders.  That requires careful questioning, accumulation of results, and then the creation of a strategy for making a message reflect these advantages.

Branding a cow seems so much easier.

We start with our intended audience, asking ourselves who we are talking to, what we need brandingto say, and how we are going to say it.  We want our audience to know what we stand for in the fewest, most memorable words.

[Email readers, continue here…]  Think of this as our core message.  We define (clearly) what we give (our core attributes) and then why it matters, or what our audience gets (the benefits).

A good brand strategy then lists supporting arguments for both the give and the get.

Once we have done this, we should be ready to create our audience–facing message, which we know as advertising.

Very few of us have conducted a brand strategy effort, and much of our advertising reflects this, with wasted ad dollars spent as we nibble around the core message and miss targeting the primary “get” message in our ads.

You can follow the steps outlined above and attempt to define your core message, or seek help from a professional.  It seems that most often, this extra effort to define brand message would be cheaper and much more effective than our present attempts at “spray and pray” advertising today.

Or you can hope your present advertising is effective – and concentrate on learning a new skill at the ranch.

  • I totally agree with Michael’s comment above, it is critical that you brand yourself as you are and what you can live up to, not brand yourself as how you would like to be or what you think others would like to see. Whatever your brand is, failure to deliver on product, customer service, or follow up, the brand and your company will be seen as either delusional or a liar, neither of which is good for business.

  • Michael O'Daniel

    Even before you worry about branding, positioning, advertising, audience-facing messages, etc., you first need to (a) make sure the product or service works as promised and meets customer expectations, (b) all employees understand their roles in making sure the product or service works, and (c) all employees understand and can articulate in a few words what the brand represents. In other words, what are its benefits? What does it deliver? That’s why, IMO, you need to keep the core message, the brand message, whatever you want to call it, as simple as possible. When you get your employees to buy into and deliver on what the brand represents, then you truly are “living the brand.”

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