Cowboy Marketing

by: Stratford Group Ltd.

Hey pardners! Did you know that cowboys were among the earliest brand ambassadors? Ranchers branded their cattle to distinguish them from others on the range and it was the cowboys that cared for the product while delivering it to market on time. In effect, their job was to uphold the rancher’s “brand promise” for quality while getting him the best price for his product in that long drive to market.

Things really haven’t changed that much. Marketing strategies create awareness, but ultimately it is your “hired hands” that deliver brand value and maintain brand loyalty. There is ample data that connects employee satisfaction to customer satisfaction. It’s still the employees out on the range, living and breathing your brand, that rustle-up those loyal repeat customers.

So how do you hire the right people to represent your brand? One way is to look for an alignment between employee personality and brand values that will reinforce your corporate culture. Employees are more likely to be successful and remain with your company if there is a good match between their personal values and the values of the organization. In interviews, try asking these questions to assess the candidate’s fit and their suitability as a brand ambassador:

  • Who are you and what do you stand for?
  • What values are important to you?
  • How are you uniquely positioned vs. competing candidates?
  • Why are you the best choice for this job?

It’s not a coincidence that these questions are similar to the ones you’d be asking yourself if you were trying to define your brand values in the first place.

In the Wild West, ranchers that entrusted their valuable herd to knowledgeable cowboys with integrity and loyalty got to market sooner while building a reputation for excellent product that commanded better prices at the stockyard.  Ask these questions the next time you’re recruiting and you’ll find that your greenhorn employees will drive your brand to market . . . and corral you some new customers too. Yeehaw!

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