No, not kind involving a hot iron and a squirmy calf…
The branding I’m talking is the kind of business savvy that intentionally develops an image, message and target audience, and works to maintain a certain reputation within that audience. The kind of branding that has fostered the creation of brand management companies, branding agencies and a host of other associated terms/roles. While all of that may seem a little out of reach for us, we have committed to a certain level of branding for Pastured Providence Farmstead, starting with our name, logo and web presence.
We are very pleased with the name of our future farm, if I don’t say myself. It means something to us, and hopefully will to others as well. But it didn’t come easy, in fact it took months of discussion and brain-storming. We had a general framework agreed upon, but as usual the devil is in the details. We knew we wanted to label ourselves a Farmstead which is a combination of the words “Farm” and “Homestead”. In our eyes, the farm is grounded in a desire to provide as much as possible for ourselves, become more self-sufficient and live off the land… all very homestead-type principles. Beyond that, all options were on the table. Here is a partial list of farm names we came up with (no voting or telling us you like another name better… we’re past this point, remember!):
- Grass Fed Farmstead
- Covenant Farmstead
- P.R.A.I.S.E. Farmstead (People Raising Animals In Sync w/ Environment)
- Honey Meadow Farmstead
- Honey Hill Farmstead
- Canaan Acres Farmstead
- Crossing Jordan Farmstead
- River’s Edge Farmstead
- Tranquil Acres Farmstead
- Peaceful Pastures Farmstead
- Providence Farmstead
- Peaceful Providence Farmstead
As you can see, we covered a fair amount of territory but began to hone in on what we really liked at the end. Providence means “a manifestation of divine care or direction”, and speaks directly to the source of our strength, hope and faith. We had originally thought about Providence Pastures, but really liked the switch that seemed to put more emphasis on the “Providence” and made “Pastured” a descriptive word describing how this particular instance of God’s providence was carrying itself out.
Once we arrived on the farm name, the next logical step was a logo. But for this step we were definitely going to need some help! Thanks to the good folks at Hatchwise, we ran a logo design contest and were very pleased with the results. Our design criteria were: illustrative in nature (vs iconic), a multi-species pastoral scene and somehow working in the life verse and slogan. It took a fews days for the upper crust to arrive, but when they did we ended up with several designs in a pretty heated contest. Here are the other finalists we eventually eliminated (again, no voting please!):
Ultimately, we ended up with a professional design that we really like and is representative of ideas that we value and will strive to emulate; a visual brand to begin laying the foundation for our farm.
Finally, we are able to put it all together into the grand finale (at least in terms of what we can actually do now)… a “web presence”. This is really just a fancy term for making yourself known, or as I like to think of it: Getting off your rear and doing something about it! Branding applies here in a less tangible way. As I mentioned previously, this won’t be the place to find out what we ate for dinner tonight or how the trip to Disney World went, unless of course I can tie them into food, agriculture, self-sustainability, etc. Here, branding means keeping the content relevant to our stated goal, to detail our transition onto the farm and our trials, failures and triumphs. It is a balance that we are slowly figuring out, as we learn how to walk that line between transparency and relevancy.
The next step for us will be diving into copyrights, trademarks and establishing a LLC. As I have begun to explore that process, I’m finding that it is entirely possible that we’ve made our first big mistake and have put the cart before the horse… but I’ll save that for another post!