Business Profile: Ranch House Designs, Inc. Ranch House Designs A Business Built on Riding for the Brand
Published on Tue, 01/06/2015 - 12:53pm
Ranch House Designs, Inc., has built their business on “riding for the brand,” one of the principles of the Code of the West. Except in their case, riding for the brand means riding for the brands of thousands of cattleman worldwide.
Founded in 1999, RHD is a full service advertising agency that serves all industries but found its roots through specializing in web design services to ranchers.
Founder and CEO Rachel Williams Cutrer was raised on V8 Ranch, where she is a 7th generation Texas cattlewoman. As a student at Texas A&M, her family held a production sale and wanted a website to promote the event. That’s how the business ultimately started, she says.
“At that time there weren’t a lot of firms who offered web design, and the ones that did either didn’t know about the cattle business or were so expensive that it was out of our budget,” she says.
So, Cutrer decided to learn how to design a website, and through word of mouth other ranchers began asking her to do websites for their operations. By the time she finished her degree at Texas A&M, she was managing about 20 web sites and wanted to gain a more technical understanding of communications.
“By that time I had decided to get a more formal education in marketing,” says Rachel. She completed internships with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Pork Producers and earned a master’s in communications from Michigan State.
With a mixture of hands-on knowledge of the cattle business, creativity, and formal training, the foundation for RHD was established. Since those humble beginnings, RHD has evolved into a worldwide agency maintaining more than 600 websites for clients in North America, South America, and Australia.
The Ranch House Recipe for Success Today the RHD team includes 14 full time staff members, many with strong roots in the cattle business along with professional experience in design, writing, or marketing. Rachel continually seeks to hire the top professionals in the livestock marketing field.
“I feel like one of the reasons we stand out as the leading livestock advertising firm is that our staff knows and understands the business,” explains Rachel. “You won’t have to teach us about your breed of cattle, or how EPDs work. We also know what it’s like to be stressing out the week before your big production sale and know what it takes to be an asset to your marketing team,” she adds.
The RHD team believes that producer education is very important in teaching ranchers about current trends in marketing and advertising. They host 4 workshops in regional locations nationwide that teach producers about print advertising, web design, livestock video and photography.
“One of the most common questions currently at RHD is how ranchers can use social media and digital advertising in their marketing plans,” Rachel says.
Currently RHD recommends that all producers, regardless of their size or location, have a ranch website that can serve as the permanent digital home of the business. Then, ranchers should supplement their website with a social media presence, preferably through Facebook business pages. Videos are also a great tool for letting customers get to know your business. Finally, RHD recommends using print advertising during key times of the year (like sale season) to finish the total marketing presence.
They also recommend keeping the ranch website up to date with at least monthly updates. That is why RHD offers unlimited updates to their client’s websites, and 99% of their updates are completed on the same day that the client sends in their information.
RHD has grown considerably from a young girl reading “Web Design for Dummies” to the leading livestock advertising firm in the world, however their principles of marketing savvy, real world ranching experience, creativity, and excellent customer service are what has kept them at the top, says Cutrer.
For more information on how the RHD team can help you improve your marketing efforts, or for a free website quote, please visit www.ranchhousedesigns.com.