- Miranda Reiman, senior associate editor
The Real Value of the Real Deal
Powered by Angus program calls attention to registered cattle.
When given the choice between generic cereal or name-brand, knock-off or reputation boots, or a budget hotel chain vs. a quality option, you know what you’re getting into before you make the purchase.
How? The branding for the original is so good that you’re aware of the value at the point of sale.
That’s the goal behind the Powered by Angus marketing effort recently launched by the American Angus Association. The first phase features a new logo for breeder use and a coordinating national advertising campaign.
“There are a lot of times commercial producers think ‘Angus’ is registered Angus, and unless we start talking about the fact that isn’t the case, no one will ever know,” says Holly Martin, director of communications for the Association.
This fall the logo debuted as a way for members to distinguish themselves and their animals as being backed by the Angus database.
“We’re asking breeders to be advocates of the program they’ve invested in,” Martin says. “They’ve invested time in weights. They’ve invested time to turn in data, invested money to genomically test their cattle. Why not differentiate themselves in the marketplace to be able to reap the rewards?”
The logo is a power symbol overlaid with the regular ANGUS typeface and the words “Powered By,” above it.
“It really just started with conversations with breeders, the Board, the regional managers — and we kept coming back to this word: power,” Martin says. “The power of the registration paper.”
And what makes the registration paper powerful?
Data, programs, pedigree, she says. That’s everything from the $10.46 million in premiums paid to those who have enrolled in AngusLinkSM since 2019 to the 80 million data points in the Angus database.
“The competition for genetic description of cattle, be it registered or commercial, has just accelerated much faster recently than it had in the previous 10, 20 or 30 years,” says James Coffey, Branch View Angus, who has served on the Board of Directors the past six years.
The program is the first step to widening that gap between generic and registered long term, he says.
“It’s almost like a copy[right] mark or a trademark. If you don’t see these in the future, guys ought to be asking some questions. ‘Where did these EPDs (expected progeny differences) come from?’” he says. “Our EPDs are the gold standard in the industry, and this is a step in calling that out.”
Martin says the logo should help with Angus confusion across the industry but even within certain sale offerings, too.
“Today there will be bulls on the same page. One is registered and one is not, but they both have numbers,” Martin says. “Only one set is powered by the Angus database.”
Any breeder can use the mark on their entire sale book if all animals are registered Angus, for specific sections of a multibreed offering or for individual animals. Websites with 100% registered animals may feature it, too.
During discussion there was some concern about adding yet another logo, Coffey notes, but this one is easy to understand and easy to explain to customers.
“If you’re determined to make a profit in this tight-margin business, you need every advantage,” Coffey says. “When you know it comes from the Association, it’s a high level of trust and you can provide real value to the customer.”
Amplifying the message
In addition to individual usage, producers should see the messaging in a series of print and digital ads. The national ad campaign went through beta-testing earlier this year and rolled out full force in October, with the logo appearing in ads that advised, “Don’t buy an imposter,” and asked, “Why roll the dice?”
“We did that on purpose, to help visually tie all of this information together in a variety of different places,” Martin says. “We want to spark that question, ‘Is my bull a registered Angus?’ And then, at the point of sale, when they’re writing that check, we want them to see the logo and recognize it as a mark of quality.”
Breeders who want to link their program to the American Angus Association can visit the AAA Login to learn more and download the logos there.
If Angus Media handles a breeders’ marketing plan, it will be a seamless process to add the mark to sale books and other materials, Martin says.
“There will be an informational insert, and it will be important they explain what the logo means to their customers,” she says, noting it is similar to the Targeting the Brand program many breeders are already familiar with.
Coffey says he plans to tell his customers it is a form of insurance.
“Every feedlot out there wants to lower their risk, because that’s sometimes the difference between losing money and making a profit,” he says. “When you have the added layer of reliable information, it lowers risk.”
Anyone who has had a poor night’s sleep at the expense of an off-brand hotel room already knows this lesson well.
Editor's note: Headed to Angus Convention and want to learn more? The Association has new tools and
ways for you to differentiate yourself from the generic Angus breeders down the road. Learn how to
visually identify your cattle as Powered by Angus brand during the Angus University session: Not All Angus are Registered Angus.