On the ranch side of our operations in Nebraska spring meant new calves, fixing fences, and branding. Branding is putting a mark on your cattle with a hot iron that is shaped in a unique way that identifies the ranch. Why do ranchers brand? One word: ownership. It signify’s to the sale barn who the cattle belong to. Or your neighbor if they get through a fence. You have to register a brand so that it is identifiable as your ranch’s name. It’s like a signature on your cattle. They know it’s yours.
We know branding is important even beyond cattle. Just try not to picture your favorite sports clothing manufacturer’s logo in your head right now. Brand recognition is one of the most important marketing tools used to sell a product. Do they recognize your brand with quality, cheap manufacturing, a good price, or so expensive it’s not worth it? What do people think when they see the brand?
There is a certain fast food store utilizing the 4th and 17th letter of the alphabet as their brand and when my wife sees it she thinks of gristle in a hamburger that makes her think twice about eating there. I personally like their food and tasty treats. But experiences, whether good or bad, shape what we think when we interact with a brand. However, it’s not just products and cattle that get branded.
Being branded is a reality. We can’t escape it. Based on any number of things, people will brand us with something—positive or negative. In a series of letters, the apostle Paul urged the churches he served to guard their brand, their identity, by choosing to “agree with one another whole heartedly” and extend the love and acceptance that they had experienced to others. What Paul knew was that by being known for these things we develop a positive brand and gain influence in the world around us.
This fall be sure to encourage your middle school and high school students, or your friends if you are one, to join us as we kick off August 23rd with a game night and August 30th with our 3 week series “Branded”. Students shouldn’t miss an opportunity to learn how their brand can make a difference in their schools, circle of friends, and their families. MSM at 6:30-8 and HSM at 7:45-9 each Wednesday night starting August 23rd.