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  • Writer's pictureKara Lea

Does the Brand Sizzle?

On creating this website, one of the first questions asked was, “What is your tagline?” Meaning, how do I brand my product?

As I sat down to discover my brand, I noticed something very interesting. A simple correlation between this article from, and one of the very first things I learned in commercial class.

When you are given a copy, you ask yourself three questions; “Who am I?”, “Who am I talking to?”, and “What is the problem?”

So here I am, taking notes from Forbes to develop my brand, and the exact same questions arise. Worded slightly differently, but with the same goal. The goal of providing a focused, meaningful advertisement.

I’ve struggled with narrowing down my true purpose in writing a blog—yes, I’m an actor, but I’m also a military wife and mother, and a Christian. So how do I bring all of that together into a focused purpose? By developing my brand. Easier said than done.

I’ve heard this word “brand” thrown around so much that it had lost its meaning. But the other day I was reminded of a conversation I’d had with my dad when we were visiting Colorado this past March.

My dad had noticed a shirt I was wearing because it had cross arrows on it. He asked where I’d got it, and, confused and slightly concerned I said, “Old Navy…why?”—“The cross arrow was the *Chinn brand! That was our brand on the farm!”

Knowing a story was about to unfold, I sat by my dad at the kitchen table. As I watched and smiled, he drew out the brand on the back of an envelope. “No one can have the same brand for their cattle. You have to register your brand to make sure no one else has it. And that cross arrow was ours. You want straight lines in a brand. If you do a circle, the hair in the middle will die out. But with lines you can make distinguished marks different than another rancher. We sold ours a few years back and I wish we hadn’t.”

Then he drew a few other brands he’d seen through the years, and they all had a connection with a specific person, a specific story. And the Chinn brand meant a great deal to him. It brought out a response that no other symbol could.

Remembering that conversation, I realized that a “brand” is not fluff—there should be deep meaning to it, it exists to give credibility to the person who owns it. So I set off Googling “how to develop a brand.” Suddenly the word meant far more to me, because it is tied to something in the past. So much of what I see and hear lately seems superficial, and I grow tired of people trying to assign value to things that really don’t matter. I want my brand to be honest. And I’m excited to finally hone in on what exactly it is I am meant to do with this website, with my Facebook page, and…(groan) possibly, maybe…ugh. With Instagram. One of my least favorite ways to spend my time…

I appreciate any feedback as I develop this brand. I want it to sizzle. But I sure don’t want it leaving any bare patches. That’d just be embarrassing.

-Kara Lea Kennedy

*Chinn is my maiden name. One I’m rather proud of. You can check out my dad’s website here, and my Uncle’s here. Both are great writers and worth the visit. Regularly.

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