With a foot firmly planted in the branding work as a partner at Bondir, I knew when I acquired a company, a rebrand was a natural consideration. As I narrowed my focus on Lone Buffalo, it seemed inevitable that we’d rename it. After all, what does a buffalo have to do with news, social media, public relations or analysis? In the years I knew of Lone Buffalo from a distance, my assumption was that the company was based in the vast wild western United States, likely in Montana or Wyoming.

Then I learned the founders were in Michigan. Michigan?

Also…

Lone Buffalo is a perfect fit for me. I would like to think I am the perfect fit for Lone Buffalo as well.

Dave and Peggy Farrell, the founders, ran it as a family business for 22 years. I hope to match their tenure and maintain the culture they established of nimbly addressing specific client needs with a great team of “Buffalos” — the editors and analysts who are elbow deep into clients’ news around the clock.

In a previous corporate life, I ran a very similar business. My team and our clients loved it for several magical years. But…

While pitching Target HQ on how sophisticated media measurement could help build its brand, a store security guard reminded me that the most powerful brand builder is direct experience, right in the store.

Field trip with my team to the Target store inside Chicago’s Loop.

Chicago’s State Street Target opened in 2012. At the same time, I was preparing a proposal for Target’s corporate communications team in Minneapolis.

They were shopping for news and social media analysis. To win, I needed to excite both sides of a key equation: the Target folks to want to work with my team, and I my team to be excited to work with Target.

So, I…

While reading or listening, I am often struck by phrases that seem to articulate enough truth in them that they can stand alone, outside the context of the author’s larger work. “The hyper competitiveness of the insecure” is just such a phrase.

This summer I came across that phrase in Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town, by Brian Alexander.

The book is about Lancaster, Ohio, once the All-American glass manufacturing town that was thrown into a downward spiral by domestic Private Equity and foreign manufacturers. (See Fresh Air’s summary and author interview, that’s probably…

My first capital investment was a Coke machine.

My first captive market was on a coach bus.

My first attempt to corner a market was on Gatorade.

I admit it — money is fun. I like making money.

My father likes money. He likes working with it, being close to the transactions. That’s why he stayed in business for himself for so many years.

Talks with my dad often lead to finances and the economy, on a micro level — individual products, stores or even what caused two people to strike a deal. He has said, though not in such…

To Be Rather Than to Seem

I just moved to South Carolina. To many people, that’s fairly indiscernible from North Carolina. As a native Tar Heel, though, this is a bit of an identity struggle.

When I hear the word “Carolina” I fully anticipate the next word to be “blue.” That isn’t just a reaction to my years at school in Chapel Hill; that was well engrained by kindergarten.

After two months going coast to coast in a Winnebago Chief in the Summer of 1978, my dad and two of my sisters hopped out with me to celebrate arriving in our home state.

Of all the things I love about my home state — brick sidewalks with moss, red dirt, Cheerwine, Texas Pete and two distinct styles of barbecue — one of my favorites is our motto:

Esse quam videri…

Barbers Creating Brands, Not Content Being A Commodity

The British contend that spying is the second oldest profession, but I think it’s cutting hair.

I draw the line between visiting a place and passing through it with one activity — getting my hair cut. If I’m not in a city or country long enough to warrant a haircut, or didn’t venture deep enough into the local scene to visit a barber, I can’t say I shed my tourist shell.

Picking a place to get a haircut in a completely new town, let alone country, used to be difficult for me. Communicating with the person holding the blade was…

In honor of the Shark Week, here’s a little family story with no strong message or takeaway, but somehow the experience worked for us on a few levels.

In the fall of 2015 my wife was traveling for several days. Before leaving, she methodically planned out meals and stocked our kitchen.

Our girls and I sat nodding, smiling and eye rolling a bit as she walked us through breakfasts, sack lunches and dinners for each meal while she would be gone. “Wait, I don’t have anything for Friday night!” she startled herself.

“Not to worry,” I replied. I’ve got it…

K.C. Brown

President @ Lone Buffalo + Partner @ Bondir.co

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