Meet Betty, she is our new family dog. BigE brought her home as a Christmas surprise. She is a great dog. She is loving, fun, and a great companion to our 2 and 3 year old daughters.
Betty is an American Pit Bull. Our neighbors are uneasy around her. One neighbor, rather than call us or bring her to us, called the police and animal control when, at 4 months old, she snuck under the fence and was playing in the lot next to our house. A neighbor challenged our responsibility as parents for getting “such a dog”. Another neighbor regularly jokingly asks; “When does this dog start killing people” Betty makes many of our neighbors uneasy and nervous.
Betty is harmless. She is amazing with our girls. She is the sweetest dog my wife says she has ever had.
It just doesn’t matter, she is a Pit Bull and Pit Bulls have a terrible brand. To most people they are dangerous dogs. They are killers.
What is interesting about the American Pit Bull brand is it isn’t consistent with the facts. The fact’s are American Pit Bulls are great dogs. American Pit Bulls were one of the most popular breeds in America at the turn of the 20th century. During World War I American Pit Bulls were a symbol of Patriotism. They appeared LIFE Magazine and movies. I’m sure you remember Petey, of the little Rascals. He was an American Pit Bull.
American Pit Bulls have great tempers and make great pets. The American Temperament Testing Society has tested over 27000 dogs for reactions to strangers, novel noises and sights and unusual footing. In addition, the dogs self-protective behavior and potential to be aggressive are assessed. Of the 27000 dogs tested, 81.5% have passed. Some breeds do better than others. The American Pit Bull rated higher than the over all average and out performed breeds more normally associated with being “good” family dogs including: Collies, (Yup Lassie), Australian Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers with an 85.3% passing rate.
Brand is a powerful thing. Brand measures perception. Brand isn’t a representation of reality or truth. Brand is what we think regardless of the facts. Getting stuck with a poor brand or doing things that negatively impact your brand can have dire consequences.
In today’s world of social media managing your Brand could not be more important. Doing nothing is not an option. Know who you are and what you do. Be clear and specific in the messages you send and deliver the messages regularly. Actively use Social Media tools and engage with others in Social Media with the same interests.
Soon online branding will be more important than your resume. Employers, clients, and partners will determine your value and your brand based on your online content, your relationships and your interactions. We are able to manage our Brands more now than ever possible. This means we can also direct our brands and ensure that what people think is exactly who we are.
American Pit Bulls are great dogs, unfortunately their brand says other wise. What does your brand say about you?