3 Branding Lessons inspired by Yellowstone’s Beth Dutton

Tom Snyder photo by Tom Snyder on Mar 08, 2024

Over my 30 years as a digital marketing pioneer, I have frequently found inspiration in unexpected places. For years, friends have been telling me to watch the popular TV series Yellowstone. I finally gave in and binge-watched every episode of the series and was struck…and inspired…by Beth Dutton. While the world of a Montana ranch might seem worlds apart from your business, there are several surprising branding lessons we can learn from Beth's complex and compelling character.

1. Embodiment of Fearless Authenticity

Beth Dutton, portrayed with intense conviction by Kelly Reilly, is a character who embodies authenticity. In the cutthroat world of business and ranching, she never shies away from expressing her true self, regardless of the circumstances. This trait resonates strongly in today's market, where consumers are increasingly seeking authentic brands.

Lesson for Businesses: In a sea of competition, your brand must stand out by being authentic. This means having a clear brand voice, a well-defined set of values, and a consistent message across all platforms. Your brand should reflect the core of your business ethos, just as Beth's character encapsulates the unyielding spirit of the Dutton family.

2. Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Beth's character is defined by her resilience. She faces numerous personal and professional challenges, yet she never loses her focus or determination. This trait is vital for her survival and success in the harsh environment of the ranching world.

Lesson for Businesses: The path to success is never linear, and resilience is key. Brands must be prepared to face challenges, whether they are market shifts, competitive pressures, or internal crises. Like Beth, a successful brand doesn't just endure adversity but learns and grows from it. This resilience builds a narrative of strength and reliability that customers value.

3. Fierce Loyalty and Protection of Family (Brand Integrity)

One of Beth's most striking traits is her fierce loyalty to her family, which, in the context of Yellowstone, extends to protecting the ranch at all costs. This loyalty can be mirrored in how businesses should approach their brand. Protecting your brand's integrity, values, and reputation should be paramount.

Lesson for Businesses: I say it constantly: Your brand is not your logo, it is the promise of an experience. And everything you do either reinforces or erodes that brand. It represents how you and your teams represent and deliver your product, your service and your essence to your customers. It is also how you appear to the market and in the public consciousness. Like Beth protects her family, businesses must safeguard their brand against dilution, misrepresentation, or unethical practices. This means monitoring your brand's performance with your customers, its portrayal in the digital realm, and its perception in the marketplace, ensuring consistency in messaging, and living up to the promises you make to your customers. Loyal customers are earned through a brand's unwavering commitment to its values and quality.

Beth Dutton's character in Yellowstone offers more than just dramatic entertainment; she serves as a metaphor for strong, authentic, and resilient branding. Businesses that embrace these qualities can create a brand as compelling and memorable as Beth herself. Whether you're fighting for market share or the heart of the American West, the principles remain the same: be true, be resilient, and fiercely protect what you...and your brand...stand for.


About Tom Snyder

Tom Snyder - TriveraTom Snyder, founder, president and CEO of Trivera, a 28-year-old strategic digital marketing firm based in suburban Milwaukee. Tom has been blogging since 1998, sharing the insight gained from helping businesses and organizations reinforce their brands by taking full advantage of digital and web technology as powerful tactics.

Photo Credit: Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

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