Branding the Equestrian Business

Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa. – Jay Baer

All businesses and organizations can benefit from thinking about brand, since really, brand is the totality of how you/it/they are represented in the world. It’s feelings and visuals and messages all rolled into a ball.

The USEF just released their new branding, which includes a new logo, revamped website, and more. By changing their name to US Equestrian, they now feel like a more personal organization with an emotional tie to its members, rather than simply a governing body. To emphasize their new, friendlier, approachable brand they also rolled out a campaign they call “the Joy of Horse Sports”, featuring feel-good imagery highlighting the bond between horse and rider.

Old versus new logo

Old versus new logo

Branding is something I’m required to think about on a daily basis, since it’s part of my job. And I love it- branding is a mix of design and psychology that ticks off my greatest educational interests in college, and though it is exceptionally challenging to create a brand from scratch, building recognition through branding efforts is also exceptionally rewarding as well. It took me ages to come up with my own logo (always hardest designing for yourself!), but eventually settled on this design, which emulates my simple visual aesthetic. The circle hints at the aperture of a camera lens, but isn’t specific enough to discount the other types of design work I do- anything from wedding invitations to, you guessed it, logo design.

My own branding illustrated on my business cards

My own branding illustrated on my business cards

Recently I entered a logo competition hosted by The $900 Facebook Pony, and was thrilled to learn that they chose my logo as the winning entry.

vector-wtw-logo

If you ever hire a designer for an identity project (or work on one yourself!), you know that the process of developing your visual identity is deeply personal. Not only do you want to somehow sum up the emotional values that make up you/your business of the present, but you also want to represent the aspirations you have for the future. Whether your goals are to become a household name, or the local go-to spot, a cohesive brand identity will never hold you back.

For the bloggers out there- what elements have you focused on to create your brand? How does your visual identity tie back to you? Does it use your eventing colors? Wedding colors? Did you make font choices or even naming decisions when you first created your blog/business/facebook page/etc. What branding challenges have you faced, in the past or currently?

 

 

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Branding the Equestrian Business

  1. Even though I know a lot about branding, design and online marketing… I have always sucked at branding my blog. I think because it’s a hybrid of a lot of things and tends to shift direction & focus.

  2. I haven’t really thought about branding my blog up until this point, but I do have a goal to switch it over to my own domain this year, and a re-design and re-brand is definitely on my mind! It’s pretty overwhelming!

  3. I think a lot of blogs start out organically and then logos/branding/url comes after the fact. I don’t see very many barns/trainers/GMOs in my area doing a good job of logos and branding at all! Many are super active on FB, so a little improvement in that area would do a lot of good. It sort of drives me nuts to see all the horse business missing out as I work in communications, so we work with the graphics folks a lot to try and help our clients achieve some sort of branding…sometimes hard in the government, but it is possible!

    • Totally agree! And I’ve seen a few really good equine marketers out there, but we all know that spare cash in the horse business can be like the pot at the end of the rainbow…

  4. If I blogged more and had more of a following I would consider having a brand/logo, but alas my thoughts rarely make it out of draft form 😜 (One day I will fix my computer and it will be easier to finish my posts!) but I did put a lot of thought into the naming of my blog. At the time I was prepping for my B rating in pony club and wanted to blog about the road to the rating. I was new to blogging and didn’t really understand it’s purpose or anything so I also wanted a name that would encompass more than the rating. Luckily Bette starts with B and the Shakespeare quote To Be or Not to Be sort or twirled around my head and Riding to B was created. I quite like it and if I somehow become a famous blogger (not likely nor trying to!) I think it has a nice ring to it for people to remember 🙂 now my house/farm… that’s been a bit trickier to create a name for and come up with a logo! Mostly bc Milton and I don’t really agree on a name nor do we really call our house by the farm name… it’s just home 😊

  5. I don’t care about having a brand for my horse blog. I’m considering renaming it to benefit my new business which goes by the same title, so I can have a separate farm blog. The hardest part for me was finding a name that would encompass all we would potentially want to sell and wasn’t already used by someone else. Once that was a in place the logo just kind of worked itself out.

  6. This makes me laugh. Perfect timing for this post! After trying my hand at creating a logo for the contest (my first time playing around with Adobe Illustrator), I thought it would be nice to have a logo for my little side art “thing”. I came up with Wicked Equine Designs many years ago, mostly because I wanted to include my love of being a little creepy with my love of horses. So, I had to try and incorporate that into my logo. I think I got the message across,and using Bacon’s silhouette was my favorite part 🙂

    I am always so impressed with your creations and imagination.

    • Wow, that was your first time! Illustrator can be a bit tricky, but that’s awesome! I’ve really admired your paintings recently- just love seeing all the bloggers’ ponies brought to life on canvas!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s