Don Zahorsky is an old cattle breeder in my neighborhood. He’s been in the business of registered Angus cattle for decades, even back when my dad was a kid.
Ride around in the pasture with Don, and he can tell you the parentage of every animal.“What’s that tag number? 0282? That’s another Dominator son. His mother is a real good cow. Her father was the grand champion … ”
He has invested his life in breeding the best registered Angus cattle he possibly can. He’s bought bulls back from people, because he didn’t like the way they performed. He’s never thought once about business brands, about emotional experiences, about logos. But he does care a lot about his reputation and the service he provides his buyers.
He brands his bulls with a DZ on the right hip. Everyone around here knows that brand. They know Don. They know that brand means a good bull.
Here’s the lesson: It’s not the brand that makes the bull valuable. It’s Don’s reputation that makes the bull valuable. The brand is just a way of showing it.
Now for some actual basics of business branding, read What is a Brand? by Jay Ehret.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.