Tag Archives: Value

Brand Identity

 Little did I know that a chance meeting would forever change how I viewed marketing and the building of brand?

It was in the early morning hours and I had just flown cross country for an event.  We had picked up our luggage and I was waiting for the car as there had been a mix up in reservations and it was taking longer than expected.  I sat down in a never ending row of stadium seats that trailed off into the distance. It was 12:30am and I was exhausted, we still had another hour or two to make it to our destination and I was anxiously waiting for the car to arrive.

I was looking to my left when I felt a presence on my right. A small framed, pretty woman, with grey hair dressed in a black wrap jacket and slacks had sat down next to me.  “All these chairs,” I thought to myself in a selfish moment, she started the conversation and we began visiting with the normal small talk.

I discovered that she was a nun traveling from California and was waiting to meet up with a friend; they were going to attend a conference in the city. She told me of her life and work in California. She shared with me her passion for nursing and in particular her work with aids patients.

I shared with her a fleeting aspiration I had as a young girl to become a nun. I had been inspired by a young woman, a nun Sister Mary Ivan.  She was nothing like the other nuns I had ever known. She was young, pretty, she loved to laugh, sing and ride horses.  For me seeing a nun out of her habit and in a pair of jeans was a curious site. I told her that I could remember playing monopoly and enjoying time with this special person. I remember with fondness those days, my grandmother used to house the nuns when they traveled around to rural communities during the summer and from time to time we would have them in our home, I remember the fun we had and how she made us feel.

There was some silence between us and then I asked her this question. “Where have all the nuns gone?” “You know,” she said, “when we began integration into the communities, we took off our habits’ and we lost our identities.”

This discussion, early in the morning hours, with a sweet gentle person would set the course for my marketing and branding efforts and dedication to staying true to who you are.  Your mark of distinction is your brand, it is your identity.  That identity along with the relationships we foster become cornerstones to our reputations and the impressions we make.

I asked this nun, “where had all the nuns gone” because I could no longer easily identify who they were. Their habit, and point of differentiation, made them visible; their goal to melt into the community, taking off the habits, had also made them melt into the crowd.

This moment in time was forever branded in my mind. Did I have fun that summer because I had seen this nun without her habit and in jeans? Was it because she seemed like one of us without the habit? With that thought I began to miss not seeing nuns in their habits, and the values and faith it represented to me with a simple glance.

The nun I had met that evening was doing great things in her community, she was serving a need, she was satisfied and growing in her life, and she was still a nun, but in different clothes.

The market place is crowded and noisy; every brand will face some form of change. In this ever changing environment the importance of staying true to who are and what you value became real. Brand identity provides direction, purpose and meaning for the brand. Remaining true to the authenticity of the brand, focused, consistent, and credible establish lasting impressions and your mark of distinction.

doWIT-Brand Identity

-Go with conviction

-Stay true to who you are, authentic, focused, consistent, and credible

-Make you mark, focus on value

-Create a lasting impresion

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Pinterest; Circle of Influence

Riding the herd on the ranch or riding the herd of “pins” on Pinterest I have discovered a great truth, it’s personal. Pinterest is an experience that can both surprise and delight developing both passions and influence, while introducing new interest and trails to explore.

Ranch work often requires separating cattle into pens for branding, doctoring, transport and is done by cutting into the herd, this can be done in open fields or in the sorting pens. Cutting cattle into groups or pens, is part of rhythm of ranch life. Pinterest has a similar rhythm of sorting and pinning visually pleasing, message bearing, information and inspiration. Once you ride a cutting horse and experience the big stops and hard turns, there is no going back; it gets in your blood. The same can be said for the Pinterest participants, once you experience and share items of value on your boards of home, arts and crafts, style, fashion, and food  to name a few, there is no going back, you can are hooked; it gets into your blood.

Pinterest popularity comes from its image driven visual component. Pinterest is an easy to use melting pot of interests which is driven by participants and caters to those who like to tell a visual story.  Participants “pin” items they value and “like” photos or graphics that inspire them and will in turn “pin” to a personal board they create. Pinterest is entertainment powered by passions. Like any social network, and even maybe more because of this enthusiastic, growing demographic, Pinterest requires an investment in time that is both enjoyable and relaxing.

Pinterest is an ever changing assortment of interest thus keeping the field open for fresh, new experiences. A “pin” found and posted on a board is branded by the visuals, pin by pin, boards begin to share a story. Pinterest is a place to herd and corral what speaks to your heart that is fueled by inspiration, common interest, and the fun of the hunt. It’s instant gratification, discovery of a pin and then the experience of pinning and sharing what is treasured.

Pinterest  is a melting pot of value based, advocators and influencers. It is a holding pen for personalized wish list, holidays, kids, parenting, teaching tools, recipes, weddings, events, books worth reading, and how-to and more which is limited only to time and discovery. Pinterest is designed to curate and share the things you love while avoiding self promotion. Pinterest is an open range for those who enjoy sharing ideas, creating a circle of influence among followers that is easily organized to access at any time. The joy found on Pinterest is a platform of interest, sharing ideas and things of beauty through visually pleasing images, creating boards that are uniquely you, while avoiding blatant self serving advertising.

Although Pinterest is invite-only, it is not difficult to get an invitation. You can request an invitation from Pinterest home page, or have a friend who is already using Pinterest send you and invitation, that is faster.

For individuals, business, brand, nonprofits, sports teams, or publications to name a few, Pinterest establishes a “herd” of opportunity to meet and to get to know markets, best customers, future customers, and future friends. Pinterest is a place to study values and to delight customers. Pinterest is a place to tell stories while offering things of beauty and be helpful, it is an enjoyable gold mine of discovery .

doWIT: Increase your ‘Circle of Influence’

Be Authentic

•Share your story, share your promise, create and or utilize images and pictures that are relevant in your customer’s lives. It is tempting to promote products, but that can be obvious, opt instead to share insights to your company and products, share the history, and tell the story behind the story. Post other interest that make (you) your brand unique; related topics, educational items, info graphics, and inspirational things; teach and inspire.

Be a Value Creator

•Pin inside and outside your industry. Analyze how people follow and  share your images opening a window into what your customer’s and followers value, what they relate to, and what they view as relevant. Discover who is pinning your pins and follow them back. Add a Pinterest follow bottom to your website and promote your presence on other social networks to encourage followers.

The road to discovery started out like any other ride, Will Rogers said “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, the other by association with smarter people.”  Over the horizon is Pinterest, a frontier of opportunity; it is a growing community that thrives on authentic, inspirational, visually appealing content. It is telling the stories through photographs and graphics, creating a lifestyle, value based snapshot, of personality, brand, and aspirations. Pinterest is a circle of influence that can be as much or as little as you like, it’s depends on how far you want to ride.

http://pinterest.com/ranchgrownlogic/

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Ranch Grown Logic


Saddle Up

“The West –the very words go straight to that place of the heart where Americans feel the spirit of pride in their western heritage-the triumph of personal courage over any obstacle,whether nature or man.” John Wayne.

The term Ranch Grown Logic is hard to explain until you come face to face with the common sense of it all. Ranch Grown Logic is just that, the logic that I grew up with living on a ranch is western Montana. It is not rocket science, but a common sense approach to life, branding and marketing, that is best explained by saddling up.

Back at the ranch the ride today is shipping day, one of the best days of the year for ranchers, its pay day! There are also other great days to be championed on the ranch, like the last day of haying, or the day you turn the cows out to green grass, or come to think about it just about any other day you find yourself in the saddle and loving what you do.

We began this day in appreciation of  the value of this day, celebrating not only a rancher’s work year cycle culminating in pay day, but also celebrating a job well done for a year’s hard work and dedication to family, land, and livestock. The joys, sacrifices, and the passion that fuels a lifestyle become a reality on shipping day, a family affair; this day stops and starts the year.

The day began with words of instruction as my brother Joe headed out of the house, talking while walking on. “Be patient, wait till 8:30 then come to the corral.” Dressed to go to work we remained patient and had another cup of coffee.

The  “be patient” directive came in reference to timing but also bringing in the heard. Bring the heard in a quiet and orderly fashion; the words not said, but understood. The plan was methodic in the approach and strategic in application. We met at the corrals, our horse trailers in a row, cowboys and cowgirls made up of relatives and neighbors joining forces in a common goal to get the job done, our task to bring the calves in without a hitch.

Riding for the brand, we headed out on a cool brisk morning towards the cattle which were separated into different pastures of steers and heifers. That part of the preparation for shipping day had been done in advance so we could bring them into the corrals in bunches, the heifers would come first.

Horses are often “fresh” on mornings like this, cool, crisp, frosty, it takes a little time and miles to get them warmed up. In all honesty they can feel the anticipation as much as we do its horse sense. Your horse is your partner and no truer words have been said that “the best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse,” but no one ever said it was going to be easy.

About 30 feet inside the gate, where the heifers were pastured, was a swampy ditch to cross. Not a small one at that, it was about 3 feet wide and deep with swamp and rock on one side and swamp on the other. As I followed the other riders across the ditch my horse balked, after a little coaxing he jumped the ditch almost propelling me into next week if you know what I mean. Oh great I thought, I have a jumper and on a fresh morning like this a good jump sometimes lends itself to “let ‘er buck!” But luckily all went well and my focus went to splitting the heard, creating manageable numbers for sorts and trip to the scales.

The first cut went smooth and the cattle were moving out nicely, but now it was my turn to cross the ditch once more, and in rides trouble. My horse “G” short for Gentleman was going to have no part of it. I made the attempt and nothing. Looking at the crossing and assessing the distance, rocks and swamp, I determined in my mind that it was not looking pretty. The clock was ticking in my head; I did not want to be one to let the crew down. I made another attempt and nothing, and as fellow cowboys saw what was taking place my brother John took his horse over the ditch as to show my horse the way, but no luck-no way. Another place to cross I thought, I looked for options, whatever it takes (WIT), ride the ditch till you find a better crossing but this ditch provided no options, and time was moving forward, this was it!

There he was frozen in his tracks, reminding me a lot of business ventures and life when we sometimes get frozen in our own tracks. Afraid to take the step, looking for reasons why we can’t do something instead of reasons we can, and the route to make it happen.

I heard my brother on the other side say “Look at me, look up.” That was it, Ranch Grown Logic; I knew it when I heard it. Look at where you want to go, not down, not at the issues that threaten, that you think are deep, swampy or rocky. Focus on your vision. Begin at the end then make you plan and work that plan. I took a deep breath of confidence for me and my horse and I looked ahead.  I looked up at my brother on the hill. One small leap for my horse resulted in one giant step for my appreciation of Ranch Grown Logic! I smiled at the common sense of it all and I headed in with the heard.  With the leap of faith I froze that image in my mind.

“Sit tall in the saddle; hold your head up high.

Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, and live like you ain’t afraid to die.

Don’t be scared, just enjoy the ride.” Chris LeDoux

Come along on the trail of stories that journey into the heart of the ride; marketing, branding, motivation, inspiration as told through stories built on a collection of experiences. Ropin’ and rooted in the spirit of the West, Ranch Grown Logic is a common sense approach to marketing utilizing authentic, motivational, passionate, branding insights and stories of the West.

doWIT: “Don’t be scared, just enjoy the ride.”  

  • Focus on your vision
  • Utilize methodic and strategic planning
  • Make your plan, work you plan
  • Do whatever it takes: WIT
  • When Ridin’ for the Brand, “Keep your eyes fixed where the trial meets the sky.”

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NO FEAR

Road Warriors

This morning I was thinking about all my friends, family, and colleagues that attended the 2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and how Facebook had linked them to me.

I knew almost instantly who was winning an event, receiving images as they posted the action.  It was an honor to see my nephew, Tyler Erickson receive his PRCA Rookie of the Year in Steer Wrestling buckle and title in the arena.  Thanks to my Facebook friends postings and what I saw on GAC, (side note, they did a great job with the WNFR- TV coverage) I was there!

I thought back to last year at the WNFR as I did some posting from the finals. New to the game, I did not know whose voice to use, business or personal.  I was tentative; my postings were more like whispers as I tested the water. That is unusual, because my voice, around our house, is sometimes known as “Judith Gap, “an inside family joke!

I was learning the ropes of social media, looking back now it was more branding than conversation, and frankly found myself lacking the confidence and the guts to go all in.  Truth be told, social media waits for no one. It is an instant conversation where I found myself frustrated by what I thought; I could not, instead of focusing on what I could do.

Social media started out as a trickle that has turned into an ocean. I admit I was afraid to put my toes in the water and just jump in. But as I have learned this new wave is waiting for no one, and to be relevant an online presence is a necessity requiring guts and time.  Social media is the new frontier, breaking trail for expression, business, value and connection.

Back some 20 years ago the Wagner family had a white 4-horse stock trailer that we used for everything and that we jokingly put a decal on the front of that read: NO FEAR. I loved seeing that trailer go down the road. Then it came to me, thanks to that memory, spend less time defining who you are and more time being who you are. NO FEAR I am, who I am.

I have always enjoyed marketing and telling stories. Story telling by nature, I write like I talk. I admit my wordsmithing leaves a little to be desired but I write with a passion that is heartfelt.

It came to me ….It’s WIT, Whatever It Takes; I am going to start my own blog and business Facebook page centered on WIT using Ranch Grown Logic. My goal, through this platform, is to build a network of likeminded people in the western lifestyle and western industry connected through stories, mentors, and leaders, with emphasis on value based marketing, branding, motivation and inspiration.

I am who I am, a marketer and a cowgirl who enjoys telling stories. Now is the time to pull my boots on, grab my hat, get on my horse, and ride the trail. Social media is the new frontier changing the way, the story, and the ride of the future.

All trails start with the first step: NO FEAR. You are invited, come along for the ride.

See you at the ranch.

 doWIT: NO FEAR

  • Break Trail:
    • Utilize social media for expression, business, value and connection
  • Fine Your Voice:
    • Start a conversation
  • Got Business: Create a business Facebook page/Blog  
    • Attract people by creating value.
  • Brand “U.”
    •  Social networking is effective and personal and business branding platform for online presence and online outreach.

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Catch the Ride of Your Life

I was blessed to have the opportunity to walk on a beach.  Not an everyday occurrence as my normal “beach walk” is to the barn to feed the horses, I set out to enJoy the moment.

I became mesmerized by the waves.  I became absorbed in the sound of the water as it approached and then gently swept over the sand.  With each wave I found myself taking stock and appreciating my life. I am so blessed and so grateful for all that I have: my relationship with God, my family, my friends, and my purpose. Yes my purpose!

Each of us have a purpose in life and our interest and passions lead us to that purpose.  The challenge is, and always has been, to identify our purpose while dealing with the waves of our own lives and the constant and predictable struggles that come our way. I heard once that “just because you’re on the inside rail it does not mean you can’t get to the outside and RIDE!”  There are many people out there who have faced challenges and have come out on top; they are the everyday heroes, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, triumphing over struggles and making a difference in people’s lives.

My mind traveled back to the last time I was in Cancun, Mexico walking on the beach. Only on that day my path lead me to a group of about 20 people on the beach, all were giddy with excitement. As I approached the small group I found out that this was a momentous day. The baby sea turtles had just hatched and were headed out to sea! This happens once a year usually late October or early November. I was in the right place, at the right time, to witness this century’s old tradition few people get to see in person.

Their story is historic; they have been doing same routine since prehistoric time.  There odds for baby sea turtles to reach adulthood are 1 in 100, they can grow to be six feet long, weight 450 Lbs, and live for 20-50 years.

I became caught up in the excitement as the baby sea turtles moved toward the water with speed and determination. The blue print of their life had been made long ago. They accepted their assignments catching the waves of their future at the same time I watched my own footprints in the sand disappear with the ride of their life.

As the sound of the waves coming in brought me back to the present, “live life purposefully” became clearer: share my talents, share my stories, those baby turtles took big steps, and so can I!

The answer came like a wave:  Just rope It, saddle up and enJoy the ride.

Catch The Ride Of Your Life

DoWIT: Catch the Ride of Your Life

  • Identify your Purpose
  • Identify Your Passion
  • Position yourself to utilize your skills
  • Be yourself, offer value, build your brand
  • Rope yourself a good life-saddle up let’s ride

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