Monday, November 30, 2009


When I was a boy, I lived on a ranch in Wyoming.  My dad involved me in everything from driving a tractor at age 5 to being in charge of a baby goat.

One early memory was burned into my mind.  On many occasions, I witnessed the branding of cows.  Hot irons with the ranch logo were seared into the hides of unsuspecting cattle.  The experience left a burning impression on me and the cow!  Wouldn't it be terrible if the cow was branded again and again every time the rancher had a new idea?
I am a creativity machine.  I get many ideas and I implement them quickly.  In marketing Rainforest Plumbing & Air, I have had a number of terrific approaches.  They include developing mascots, slogans and logos.  Over the years, I used them all (and I mean "all").  These ideas were used in the van graphics, post cards, website, t-shirts, etc.  It resulted in quite a collage of details.

A major shift in our branding occurred when I met Cam Stewart at TactixCreative.  In one of our initial meetings, he took one of our postcards and studied it with their staff.  I was shocked to learn that all my ideas were great by themselves but together - well, that's a different story.  There was too much!  Too many slogans, logos and graphics.  I learned that branding must be focused.

Today, we have a much simpler approach.  We still implement many of my own ideas but they role out as separate campaigns.  Every campaign has it's own unique style combined with the consistency of a brand that leaves a lasting impression.

Our brand is now focused and becomes more so as we continue to define it.  Now, we have adopted my mantra: "leaves everywhere!"  Our logo has taken the shape of a leaf.  It is the shape of our business cards and is on every advertisement in newspapers, t-shirts, flyers, trucks, magnets and on the website.

The message of this story is this: "Cows (and companies) only need to be branded once!"