Kiley McKinna photo

Limousin World
Around The World | May 2012

Kiley McKinna

It’s that time of year when the grass turns green, spring bull sales come to an end and calving wraps up. I’m sure most of you are in good spirits considering the early spring, high cattle prices and timely moisture in many parts of the country. I’m also sure most of you would say, and I agree, it’s been a long time coming and much needed.

That said, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the record-setting bull sale season we’ve just had. This spring I’ll have had the pleasure of working more than 40 sales across North America.

One of the most interesting parts of my job is working with different programs and studying their inner-workings on “pay-day” or sale time. One thing that is unique to every program and separates them from one another is their BRAND.

I’m not talking about the kind of brand that requires a hot iron and a neighbor’s help during fall round-up. I’m talking about how each individual program establishes its identity in a highly competitive seedstock business.

I’ve come up with a list of bullet points and questions designed to make you think about where your program currently stands and where it might be headed as it relates to your BRAND.

Product Quality—I define product quality based on results. Ask yourself; does my product meet the demands of existing customers, attract new customers and am I profitable? If your answers are yes, yes and yes—I’d say you’re in great shape. If not, I don’t suggest re-inventing the wheel, but you might consider modifying a few things.

Positioning—keep the big picture in mind and ask yourself; Where is the cattle industry headed? Where does my product fit or does it? How can I be profitable? Don’t be afraid to reposition yourself if your target markets change.

Marketing—this plays a key role in building a successful brand. Marketing encompasses a combination of your products and services, the current market, your target audience and your program’s goals. Ask yourself; Am I simply and creatively communicating with my current and prospective customers? Remember perception is often reality.

By the time you’re reading this sentence, I hope I’ve turned your thought process towards BRANDING. We are currently working on our annual Herd Reference Issue and I encourage you to consider placing an ad in this particular issue and make this your opportunity to help BRAND your program among your peers.

I look forward to visiting with you in the coming days and hope all of you continue to enjoy a great spring.

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