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Across the Editor's Desk: Heart-driven branding

Agriculture.com Staff 05/27/2010 @ 3:38pm

Yard ornaments and website pictures tell something about you -- but nothing like your day-after-day behavior

What does the look of your place say about you? I got to thinking about that as I read a fun discussion string, "Goofiest Yard Ornament," within Women in Ag at Agriculture.com. Member Kay/NC started the discussion and listed a number of unusual ornaments, designs, and other art -- often plastic -- she has seen in yards.

Here's part of what Kay/NC wrote: "I notice the neighbors up the road have a brick mason at work on their mailbox post...or more accurately have put their mailbox inside a tall brick column. Now they have added a statue on top...an alligator in golf attire."

She concluded by saying, "I am sure that some folks don't get my sense of ‘decor in the dirt' either, and I think it is to each his own . . . but some stuff is just too strange."

Indeed, it is interesting to think about the deliberate choices you make -- from the look of the farmstead to signage to logo wear -- that create the visual impression of who you are and how you want others to perceive you. The images that people choose to share on social media sites, such as Facebook, are equally interesting.

In Agriculture.com's Farmers For The Future network, for example, members have posted more than 11,000 photos about themselves, their families, and their farms. Tractors and pickups are very popular. Some pickups are mud crusted; others are shined for show. Both types are posted with pride I'm sure.

Author Tom Peters wrote The Brand Called You for Fast Company magazine in 1997. Since then there has been much written about personal branding. Everyone has a brand -- your reputation. Personal branding, however, is deliberately making sure, just as companies do, that your brand is clearly positioned in the minds of others.

More farmers are getting good at branding themselves and their operations. These farmers, for example, host open houses and picnics for their landowners. They create newsletters, Web and social media sites, and blogs for their customers, vendors, lenders, landlords, and prospects. They help sponsor good causes in their communities.

Still, what matters most is how you behave day after day. You express your values -- who you are and what you believe -- in what you do and how you treat others. Visual things help create impressions, but nothing impresses like consistent behavior of the heart.

Yard ornaments and website pictures tell something about you -- but nothing like your day-after-day behavior

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