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Brand Builder Series: Kathy, Building the Tractor Supply Company Brand

WRITTEN by: Bill Sterzenbach |
categories: Branding

Jun 2015


The Brand Builders Series:

Welcome to the first installment of the Brand Builder Series. Each month, this series will highlight an individual who wholly embodies his or her company’s brand. Each individual profiled truly exemplifies how a person can build and represent a company's brand through everyday excellence in their activities.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying." Never is this statement truer than in the development of your brand. While your company can establish a brand, it's up to your people to uphold it.
Upward Brand Interactions proudly salutes Brand Builders – the true brand ambassadors. Brand Builders are the unsung heros who exemplify the brand in their day-to-day activities, building their company brand through their actions


Brand Profile: Tractor Supply Company

Tractor Supply Company uses the tagline “Out Here” to portray them as a part of the rural lifestyle and supporters of recreational farmers and ranchers.

From their branding information:

"Our tagline reinforces the position that TSC offers lifestyle inspired equipment, products and apparel that are unique to our customer. The strong first-person statement reminds the consumer that there are real people behind the brand, who live the brand."

Our observations:

  1. A hard working/get your hands dirty company
  2. Powerful muted colors (not white and bright)
  3. Use of metal textures
  4. Warm and comfortable
  5. For the farmer
    1. Self sufficient
    2. Imagery of farmers in fields, livestock, home
    3. Sell stuff that works
    4. Quality, built to last 
    5. Tough and durable
    6. Reliable
    7. All American
    8. Giving the farmer a fashion (clothing made tough)


Brand Builder of the Month: Kathy

Kathy, building the Tractor Supply Company Brand. 

Out Here. Tractor Supply Company uses this tagline to resonate with recreational farmers and ranchers who enjoy the rural lifestyle.

Kathy exemplifies the tag-line by her down-to-earth friendly personality and her eagerness to help anyone who spends their time “out here” with her.  

I first met Kathy when buying feed for our horses. I brought my dog along who had a cut on her knee that had not yet healed, and Kathy offered - “you know, I have a home remedy that really helps with those minor lingering cuts”. This was the first of many helpful tips Kathy offered my wife and me over the many visits to TSC. Kathy is always ready to ask “what are you guys up to today?” which generally leads to her sharing some observation or recommendation that ends up being quite helpful.

During a recent visit, Kathy paused during my checkout process to recommend a supplement based upon something I had shared about my horse weeks earlier. She said “This area is very low on selenium which could lead to “cribbing”, you may consider investigating whether you need this supplement”. Her store did not carry the supplement but she found a location that did, and even followed up on the subject later.

Kathy will answer you honestly if you ask her if a product will suit your needs. I’ve switched items more than once based upon her recommendations.


How Kathy Builds the Brand

  1. She really is “Out Here” with us. She owns a small farm, complete with horses, chickens, dogs, etc. Just the sort of operation quite familiar to TSC’s loyal customer base
  2. She’s a no-nonsense, straight-shooting, rugged outdoors person
  3. She’s friendly, cheerful, and always ready to lend an ear or to offer advice. She’s the type of person we’d like to think of when we envision farmers
  4. She’s highly knowledgeable on matters relating to farms and agriculture. You feel as if you have access to an expert right at your local Tractor Supply Company

Our congratulations go out to Kathy at Tractor Supply Company for your great work. You richly deserve this month’s Brand Builder award.


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