A Pit Bull Hatches the Grass! Are You Tending Your Brand So It Will Grow?

KOTAW Off the Clock - Adventures of the KOTAW Girl Gang laced with mini marketing tips

Tend Your Brand So It Will Grow | KOTAW Content MarketingOnce upon a time, Ivy’s lawn was green and lush. Then one by one, each blade disappeared, and Ivy was left with a yard full of dirt, because of something called a California drought.

So every time a dog or person passed by on the sidewalk, Ivy would RAH-RAH-ROO and run back and forth the length of her gate, kicking up dirt and creating a dust storm.

Ivy thought this was silly, but she ended up very dirty and my daughters Bri and Kelsey started to feel bad.

So they put out rugs on top of the dirt for Ivy to lie on instead of grass, and each day they would shake out the rugs to make sure they were always free of dust and dirt.

A Pittie Dust Storm

This worked out happily for a while — Ivy loved her outdoor rugs and loved to watch Bri and Kelsey shake them out for her after she created her happy-pittie-greeting-everyone dust storm — but then bugs started joining her in her yard of dirt.

Sweet pittie-pie Ivy was happy to share (she recently watched five bumblebees drinking from her outdoor water cup at the same time, then gently put her head in to join them for a drink! Don’t worry — Bri grabbed her collar in case the bees weren’t as gentle and trusting as Ivy is!) But while Bri and Kelsey and I thought it was sweet that Ivy would happily share her dirt with bugs and insects, we also didn’t want her to get bites and stings.

So we decided to buy some grass seed “specially designed to work in the draught” (that’s some good marketing!) and got to work making Ivy some new grass!

A Pittie Waggling Tail, No Green Thumbs

Sure we could’ve hired someone to do it, but we’ve had bad luck with gardeners in the past.

One gardener randomly tried to kiss Bri during the first thirty seconds of their first encounter (I left her alone to ask him about trimming a tree while I checked on our lunch in the oven and when I returned — thirty seconds later! — she was shoving him away from her and telling him not to go anywhere near our TREE EITHER!)

Another gardener would camp out in our yard with all his gardening equipment for five hours at a time, using our yard as his “home base” for his gardening efforts on our entire block (meaning he left our gate wide open for five hours so Ivy and LuLu couldn’t be out there and came in and out of our yard to gather different tools, neglecting to actually do any work on our yard until the very end.)

We decided to try a small patch of grass at first to see if it would grow, seeing as none of our thumbs have ever been very green.

A Pit Bull Hatches the Grass! Are You Tending Your Brand So It Will Grow? | KOTAW Content Marketing

Ivy watched as we dug and watered, spread seeds and spread topper, and she waggled her pittie tail as we told her we were on a mission to grow her new grass!

Hatching Grass, Patch by Patch

After the seeds were scattered and all the gardening work Ivy witnessed was done, she lay on the seeds very diligently, like a Mama bird lying on her eggs.

And then Ivy’s grass started to hatch!

One blade of grass started to appear, then another, then another, until Ivy had hatched herself a patch of grass big enough to serve as her bed until we could start the watering and spreading seeds and putting down topper process all over again in another patch.

Soon Ivy will have a patchwork quilt of grass, as my girls and I work diligently to make patch upon patch until all the patches are connected and Ivy has hatched herself a whole lawn of grass!

Grow your business with Ivy's patch-by-patch branding strategy | KOTAW Content Marketing


Team KOTAW recently experienced website malfunctions as soon as we upgraded our WordPress. Suddenly the ability to submit comments on blogs disappeared and our website speed plummeted.

At the same time, we started experiencing problems with our Bluehost hosting service. Suddenly our site was down for a half hour at a time — and not during scheduled maintenance. When we complained, we were told the site could be down for hours and we would just have to deal with it. Which is not exactly the kind of service we were paying for.

So we consulted our KOTAW Content Marketing friend and website angel, Elizabeth Poff, who has worked her website magic and miracles on our site in the past, and she kindly got to work trying to solve the WordPress glitches and sudden website slowdown.

In the meantime, Kelsey, KOTAW’s Chief Digital Strategist with an emphasis on visual content strategy, started optimizing every single picture on every single blog and every single page of our website in order to increase our speed. She had been planning a new visual branding redesign anyway, so decided to use this opportunity to create new visual masterpieces and to follow Elizabeth’s advice to make sure each image file size was optimized to be as small as it could be.

Just as our pittie-pie Brand Ambasador Ivy lay on the grass seeds and waited for each individual seed to grow — and just as my daughters and I are making one patch of grass at a time to make sure we do a good job with each section rather than getting tired and just spreading seeds willy nilly — Kelsey took the time to redesign each blog and website image to her liking, then to optimize and re-upload each new image to our site. This took a full two weeks, working practically 24/7 despite my gentle insistence that she sleep.

And now, a message from LuLu! | KOTAW Content MarketingWhen every single image on our site was optimized and the KOTAW site was even slower (and Kelsey was near a nervous breakdown!) Elizabeth really worked her magic.

We may still need to switch hosting (much of the problem seems to be Bluehost, which is sad, as they’ve been amazing up to this point) but thanks to Elizabeth, our site is working again — and not at snail-like speed.

And thanks to Kelsey, our visual branding is now better than ever (feel free to peruse our site to see all the changes!)

What is the moral of this story?

Making grass one blade at a time, one patch at a time, is much more time consuming than just spreading seeds everywhere in one fell swoop. Taking the time to redesign and optimize every single image on our website is much more time consuming than just incorporating Kelsey’s new visual branding strategy into each future blog post and then just optimizing each image from now on. But we don’t do easy here at KOTAW! We think longterm — about grass, our website and our visual branding.

So Ivy will keep hatching her grass in stages and our KOTAW Girl Gang will never take the easy way out. Not for our own website, social media accounts or for our visual and brand storytelling strategies. And certainly not for those of our clients. We aim for KOTAWesome here at KOTAW, and will settle for nothing less!

PS: Our Poodle-Doodle LuLu wanted to have another reference in this blog! (She is Poodle-Doodle competitive that way! ) LuLu wants all of you to know that she approves our grass-growing efforts but, unlike Ivy, she has no interest in lounging about in our front yard. When she is out there, she is likely to be found scaring my daughters and me by trying to run through our gate to chase passersby (though sweet Ivy always blocks her so she can’t run away!)

Now that LuLu has had her own special blog addition, I’m back to YOU, dear reader! What do YOU think of growing grass in patches and applying “long-term” rather than “quick fix” thinking? Do you take the time to evolve your brand, by staying on top of new social media trends and making website and visual branding tweaks and improvements as you go along? Or do you create a website, open some social media accounts and let them go? Do you have questions about how to stay on top of your brand story and keep improving your brand’s message so you don’t get lost in the social media crowd? Then please ask your questions below, or send me a note!


  1. Kit says:

    Kat – I missed ya! I am so sorry for my late response :-(

    Aaah….my proclivity towards the ‘short term’ has hurt me a lot in the past, but I haven’t learnt my lesson YET ;) I am slowly turning my attitude around though. While I want to live for the NOW and love in the NOW, I also don’t want to jeopardize my future to satiate my current cravings (and especially not the harmful ones!)!

    And you, my lovely muse, are my Sherpa, as always #HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS



    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      You are learning, Kitto, and that’s all any of us can do. I saw your post about walking Oreo and now you’re here, so you’re getting through your list. :)

      I don’t think writers ever fully achieve perfect work/home balance. We’re not wired for it. Our brains don’t shut down on cue, and our imaginations often die in the time slot we give them to thrive.

      It’s good you have a husband and a dog to keep you from totally giving in to writer zaniness. Sometimes, our enforced breaks reward us with inspiration. And they always reward us with experiences we can’t get at a keyboard.

      Happy to play Sherpa and muse to someone as lovely and talented as you, Kitto.


      Mama Kat

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