“You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. But if you teach him to fish, then you just gave him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.”
If you are willing to learn the right steps, online branding will FEED YOU for an entire lifetime. There is plenty of fish on the World Wide Web!
What is online branding? Online branding is the action of making a mark through a name, a design, Logo, or any exclusive feature that differentiates an organization’s products or services from its competitor’s products or services on the World Wide Web.
Marketing companies, advertising agencies, and various businesses throughout the world use some type of online branding strategy to uniquely identify its products and services.
For example, Nike’s online branding promise is: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.” Google’s online branding promise is to be the world’s number one source of information.
Logos, copywriting, email campaigns, and video after video is plastered everywhere online, branding or burning vivid images of these brand promises from Nike and Google in our minds. If you see either of these logos or symbols then you know THE promise.
Many years ago, online branding didn’t exist, but the practice of livestock branding did exist.
Online branding models cattle branding (From the Ranch to the Web)
Traditionally, livestock branding was used on cattle as a stamp of ownership.
Branding cattle was a practical and cost-effective way to identify cattle.
In fact, branding cattle dates back as early as 2,700 BCE, with the ancient Egyptians who used branding to identify livestock.
Now, during the ancient Roman empire era, cattle were branded for a slightly different reason.
Some of the Romans believed certain branding symbols represented magical spells meant to protect the herd.
So, the practice of branding cattle came to the United states from European travelers, and it was fine tuned by the Vaquero, cattleman from Spanish Mexico.
Branding livestock served many useful purposes for ranchers. The main reason was to signify the rancher’s ownership of their animal.
This allowed livestock to graze together on open ranges. When it came time to round up all the cattle, the brand symbol or mark helped cowboys determine who owned what cattle.
Unique branding symbols came in handy to keep track of lost animals, but it also prevented them from being stolen by rustlers or livestock thieves.
To avoid the possibility of duplicating brands, ranch owners came up with variations of characters to make sure their names stood out.
Brand symbols or characters could represent actions such as, “walking,” “running,” “double,” “tumbling,” “lazy,” “crazy.”
Online Branding Roots Come From Traditional Branding
Now last fast-forward back to the 21st Century. When you think of a brand, chances are your favorite clothing, beverage, or technology comes to mind.
But to a cowboy, he thought of a branding iron.
Thanks to the branding iron there’s no better way for a rancher to leave his mark.
Branding irons came in every shape, size, and configuration, each branding iron was as unique as its owner.
“In order to preserve traditions, you have to live them. You can only tell the story of how you used to do things for so long.” Duke, the rancher always saw himself as part of the land. Inseparable from the animals and the landscape.
That’s how Duke the rancher was brought up branding cattle. “This is the only way I want to live my life.”
Why Online Branding and Teamwork Will Change Your Life
For Duke the rancher, branding time was probably the most social time of the year for their ranches. This is a time when neighbors got together, and worked together as a team to help each other. But most importantly everyone had fun during branding week.
During branding week, cowboys would brand as many as 500 or more calves. They first start by camping out deep into the ranch for 5 or 6 days. Branding was the most exciting time of the year for cowboys because that’s when everyone came together.
Branding gave the ranch a whole new sense of teamwork. Cowboys would line up one behind another with each person covering the other cowboy’s back as they gathered the cattle.
It’s a pretty cool atmosphere. You wouldn’t find that in most occupations. People are excited to get up to work. People are excited to work together. The day started as early as 3AM. Now that’s that cowboy culture that’s so very important. That’s something special.
How Online Branding The Traditional Ways Aren’t As Bad As You Think
To the cowboy, they are very happy that they are in a position to be doing things the traditional way. Branding represents traditions that were passed down from their fathers.
So, when the rancher goes out and makes a camp, this means they can accomplish a lot more together over a span of 5 days. This also puts the rancher close in touch with what’s going on out there on the ranch.
Typically, on the branding day, the cowboys will ride out early in the morning to gather up the cattle and get them mothered up with their calves. The objective is to get all the cattle gathered into a central meeting place.
The mission is to get all the cattle branded as soon as possible so they can get back to where they live. The ranchers begin by starting a wood fire, and heating up the iron brands. In the meantime, the calves would start to settle down.
Next, the more experienced ropers pulled all the calves from the outside without stirring the environment up further than it already was.
On the ground, you need people who are physically tough who can take a wild animal and lay it on the ground without hurting it or themselves and then holding it there until it’s processed, branded, castrated, dehorned, whatever they have to do.
So, when that first calve is brought it, each cowboy needs to understand what their job is and to do it in a quick and efficient way.
Cattle branding began because of cattle rustling. Branding is mainly a mark of ownership. Once you put that brand on that animal, that animal is yours until you sell it.
How Teaching Traditional Branding Could Make Online Branding More Efficient
The rancher believes and practice low stress livestock handling. So, it’s the Rancher’s responsibility to make it as easy as they can for the cattle.
Duke feels that humility makes him unique, as he didn’t inherit a bunch of money. He has to make a living at ranching. Duke has to get the job done.
But at the same time, Duke also invests time for certain things other people wouldn’t take the time to do.
Duke has a passion for people wanting to learn and for teaching. Branding will teach you a lot of things. Duke has completely mentored all of his children on the range.
One child state, “Duke made us love ranching by not forcing us to do it, but by showing us, his kids how much he loves it.
Duke feels branding is multigenerational. So, the things that Duke knows was taught by his father and his father was taught by his grandfather.
“So, when I’m off branding a calf and I see my son shoot this incredibly beautiful loop and catch this calf and bring him back.
Then I see my daughter grab that calf and put him on the ground. When I see my kids doing things that was taught by my father, There’s no feeling like it.”
Duke looks back and reflects on the branding camp outing. He states, “We had a good branding camp this year. We were pretty focused on what we had to get done.
You see a lot of people giving it everything they had and appreciating what everybody else is giving and having each other’s backs. That’s pretty huge and that’s pretty special.”
Duke has a unique way of looking at branding in a very modern way. But he has this ability to constantly look at “Am I doing this right.”
I’m going to take what I know, and what my dad and his dad taught him and I’m going to make sure that I’m still doing it right for the land I work on, for the people that work with me, and the community I’m a part of.
“The traditions that have been handed down from our ancestors are very important to us.”
Duke has a unique way of looking at ranching in a very modern way? But he has this ability to constantly look at am I doing it right. It’s just a bigger mission preserving our past. That’s what we know and who we are.
Online branding can be seen uniquely through traditional cattle branding. It is the foundation for all online branding efforts. There’s really no difference.
Your Online Brand Determines Your Success on the World Wide Web
People may have tremendous potential, but because of the way they are perceived (the way other people look at, value, think, and talk about them) by others, they may never get to use that potential.
So, what is it about branding and imagery that sets you up to be successful and far faster than most other people?
Remember a brand is a promise. When you have a brand, it’s a promise that you make and are known for keeping to the person who you are asking or trying to influence.
Human beings decide emotionally and justify logically.
If you have a good personal brand, people are willing to pay you more for your product or service and argue less.
A brand always begins with your values.
What do you stand for? Quality, excellence, responsiveness, teamwork, innovation, leadership.
Then, when you are clear about these, you build a tremendous online brand by starting with the principle of integrity.
There’s no better reputation you can have other than for people to say that when they do business with you, your promises always fulfill.