I really do love this time of year; now into June and regardless of what the weather might have in hold for us, summer is here! Back in my farming days, growing 1000 acres of crops, including wheat, oilseed rape, peas and beans, this was the real nurturing stage …
Plants would be growing fast, what with the mix of sun and rain and with warmer temperatures. We had to be vigilant for weeds and pests competing for nutrients and potentially causing damage. At risk of provoking some disquiet, yes, just as most farmers did, we used artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides.
In reality, without these fertilizers and chemicals, UK farmers simply wouldn’t be able to grow sufficient food to feed the nation, let alone grow enough to export to parts of the world where there are food shortages.
We don’t hear as much about grain-mountains now as we did back in the late 1980s; even then, despite much hysteria about overproduction, there were many parts of the world going hungry. In fact the ‘mountains’ amounted to the equivalent of what was consumed over 3 weeks; not enough even to call them a strategic reserve!
Sorry, back to subject – nurturing. We would ‘walk’ the fields regularly to keep a close eye on the crops and be ready to take action quickly when necessary. Without care, we could see a lot of previous hard work go to waste and often, unless caught quickly enough, we could lose our potential income from that field for the year.
Of course, as a youngster, I wasn’t that keen on walking anywhere, let alone patrolling a 1,000 acres, but I’d be quite happy to do it now.
As well as the fields we had to do the worst job of the year – cleaning the grain storage buildings. Once grain had come from the combine in trailers, it was stored in either ‘bins’ or ‘on-floor’. By far the worst was cleaning the bins, which were about 40 feet deep, dark, dusty and hot. The only way in to the bins was climbing over the top of them and then using the vertical ladder attached to the inside of the bin.
I must confess to nearly killing Charlie ‘the old-boy’ I wrote about a few weeks ago, when I hit my head on a scaffold plank, perched across the top of the bin, which fell 40 feet to hit poor old Charlie flat on his head and knocked him clean out! Fortunately he suffered no permanent damage having been attended to by three fire engines, an ambulance and two police cars.
“So what has this got to do with design and branding?”
Just as the nurturing of the crops was essential, so is nurturing your business brand. You really should keep a close eye on it and how it’s performing for you. Whilst I’m not advocating modifying your image too frequently – as consistency is paramount to building a powerful brand – do frequently review how you deliver your brand to your chosen market-place.
Gone are the days when it was prohibitively expensive to constantly change your printed marketing materials with amazing advances in printing technology, but also, of course, websites should be alive and have constantly refreshed content (a big part of the reason for writing a new blog post every week).
I’d love to hear from you if you want to talk about improving the performance of your branding by nurturing it. Call me on 07583 047103 and I’m happy to give a free telephone consultation so you can arrive at ideas of how your brand can increase your sales, margins and profit.
Next week I’ll be writing about my visit to the Cheshire Show, where farmers will be proudly showing their animals which they have lovingly nurtured and hope to win awards as evidence of their stockmanship.
Enjoy the sun! Aren’t I the eternal optimist?
Until next time …