We’re thrilled to be featured in Arabian Horse Lifestyle magazine. Interviewed by Publisher, Kerri Hill, our founder, Paul Kostial, shares about the organization, how it started, its growth to today, and its future.
Paul shares about the community’s global mission, next steps to get there, and how We LOVE Arabian Horses Inc. serves the community as a non-profit that’s beneficial to the entire Arabian horse industry, locally to globally. The Arabian breed needs it.
We’ll share the direct link to this entire article as soon as we have it handy! Please FOLLOW US for timely updates.
How did We LOVE Arabian Horses start?
We LOVE Arabian Horses was launched in 2017. The brand was designed to be simple and easy to grasp. And, the focus needed to be visually appealing and compelling, while delivering innovative promotional platforms for Arabian horses.
Our message is simple – education and outreach designed to build the Arabian horse community. After spending many years in the business, both involved with and observing, it was readily apparent that a systemic approach to marketing was needed, and one that’s consistent with what’s working well in marketing today.
That means: advanced technology, online platforms, database technology, easy options to get involved and learn, and for newcomers to thrive in a business that has many facets. Even for the tried and true, it’s not easy to grasp all the facets. Having innovative tools and current-day assets is essential, and long overdue.
Our plan was designed to build multiple outreach platforms over time, spanning from local to global. Centered around an interactive web-based foundation, we then provide multiple assets and resources to assist those inside our community to promote the Arabian breed outside our community, along with easy options for newcomers to ‘get started’ via our Mentor Ambassador’s program.
With my background in corporate marketing and sales, the need for more effective and dynamic means to promote and share the beauty and versatility of Arabian horses was readily apparent. And for everyone to be truly successful, we would need support all breeders, farms, disciplines, groups, and clubs, to nurture and stimulate a growth for the Arabian breed economy.
What were the first aspects of We LOVE Arabian Horses you created?
After the initial branding was developed, our first foray was our initial Facebook page called We LOVE Arabian Horses. Our interactive web design soon followed, along with the development of multiple assets to benefit the community.
Carol Nierenberg (Silver Box Studios) had listened to me sharing about the vision and, while she listened attentively during early planning discussions, she was the first to notice… our business structure was very similar to many “third-party” marketing organizations, like the Milk Board, Beef Council and the Pork Producers here in the USA. There are many similar organizations in other countries too.
Each of these was created to promote their industry’s business versus focus for any one specific producer. It’s a proven mechanism for unbranded marketing growth and, it has worked for decades in many industries. We’re the same thing, but for Arabian horses – a non-profit marketing company that promotes Arabian horses.
And just like any successful member-based marketing organization, we needed to engage all participating producers, clubs, associations, and groups in a simple and collaborative network. Via the power of many, we can then deliver very creative, unique, innovative, and effective opportunities for the community’s benefit.
In doing so, we provide resources, assets, advice, assistance, and educational content supporting the Arabian Horse community, along with ‘how to’ options to assist others via simple steps to develop the same within their own communities.
Likewise, We LOVE Arabian Horses is essentially becoming a franchise structure. Our value lies in the combined power of one visible brand, including helpful steps and discounted costs via our bulk purchasing. The clear and obvious benefit comes from collaborating about what’s working, and sharing that for others who have similar needs, essentially replicating and scaling success via tested programs.
Tell us, who is behind WLAH?
As the founder and the volunteer Executive Director, it’s my role to lead the growth of We LOVE Arabian Horses while navigating a long-term growth plan for simple outreach platforms. Our growth is based on people power!
As an example, we have well over 100+ people participating in a variety of 25+ outreach platforms. We have over 50 very astute leaders and advocates who are already part of our Ambassador Advisors, along with another 50 or so individuals (or businesses) who have already become sponsors in one form or another. We also have multiple corporate partners already engaged and supporting Arabian breed growth.
We’re building what we call a ‘volunteer society’ – with boots on the ground throughout the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil and expanding globally. We will function much like any Arabian horse club, although our point of difference is simple… our volunteers can easily collaborate virtually, while sharing their own knowledge in-person, in their own communities.
Our three-tiered social “touch platforms” means that our community will source both in-person events and experiences with Arabian horses, then engaged by follow-up via ongoing invites and opportunities to learn. That could be invitations to attend a local event, seminar or party, or in-person educational events. As we all have so many distractions in our daily lives these days, it’s critical that we provide a consistent and informed messaging dialogue, one that’s then compelled by a team of extraordinary volunteers and partners who support Arabian horses.
Over time, we’ll assemble one thousand or more ‘Arabian Horse ambassadors’ who will have direct access to ample resources. These resources are designed to facilitate multiple Arabian horse newcomer interactions weekly and then, to create a truly diverse and exciting opportunity for newcomers to engage based on their interests.
Our activation plan is simple. As a virtual ‘club’ designed to provide assets supporting ALL clubs and groups, we also assist with feedback, ideas, playbooks, suggestions, guidance, marketing tools and other resources. As with any start-up, you design for momentum growth, when the energy itself fuels its own growth.
The current marketing landscape has evolved so much over the past five years, along with social media that has had an enormous impact on being relevant and, fulfilling where the potential is most obvious. And while social media tenacity is mostly good news, it’s also left many wondering how (and what resources we need) to advance and generate substantial local outreach, in every community.
We LOVE Arabian Horses provides a very congenial “Switzerland” that assists those who may also have the same needs, while assisting their community (or business) growth goals. We nurture an open environment via ideas, dialogue, and much collaboration, where individuals and groups can freely share their questions and hurdles with the broader community, to then create a smarter plan for others to resource and replicate in their area and/or for their farm or business.
Please give us an example.
In a very short amount of time, we’ve already consulted with a number of farms, clubs and groups who have requested our feedback. We assist them with direct observations, suggestions, ideas, resources to help them reach their outreach goals. This often includes even very simple steps needed to ‘move the needle.’
Working with multiple like-minded partners, we’re building a structure to assist multiple events with local clubs, national events, and everything in between. In conversations with our Arabian horse colleagues in other countries, it’s clear that we’re all experiencing similar marketing issues.
We LOVE Arabian Horses is poised and ready to deploy our combined resources via a concise roadmap that stimulates growth and participation across all disciplines in our industry, for the betterment of the Arabian horse breed. Naturally, each platform is constructed differently for specific objectives and customized locally or regionally as needed.
What are your long-term goals with WLAH?
To design and build a vibrant international platform for Arabian breed promotion, via an organization that’s built to support the entire Arabian horse community with robust platforms created, tested and scaled for efficient long-term growth.
How do you think WLAH is making a difference?
The proof is already with us. In the last year alone, we’ve increased from about 50 email transactions per week, to now fulfilling up to 500 to 600 email transactions per week. Many of these come direct from our website, as users are drawn by content they engaged online via We LOVE Arabian Horses email and social media.
Very conservatively, that’s 25,000+ direct INBOUND personal interactions annually, not counting ‘likes’ on posts or other incidental interactions. These range from direct requests for assistance with events and ideas, ordering supplies for events like: photo frames, vests, stickers, wristbands, banners, and other promotional stuff, along with fulfillment of contests, editorial requests, article content, our blogs, image galleries, videos and even podcast guest suggestions. It’s systemic, and it produces vital daily interactions for growth.
What are a few examples of your current platforms?
- ANNUAL AMBASSADOR CONTEST
- Contestants do outreach events from a set list of options, to win points and prizes for an annual contest with two seasons.
- MARKEL GLOBAL PODCAST
- Weekly series featuring well-known industry experts, chatting on a variety of topics benefitting Arabian horse education.
- ARABIAN HORSE COMMUNITY COOKBOOK
- Our first published event, the Arabian Horse Community Cookbook is a collection of 225+ recipes from friendly kitchens.
- EDUCATIONAL ARTICLES & BLOGS
- We currently host a dozen article contributors, those who write about history, breeders, and key industry leaders.
- FARM & CLUB – SUPPORT & EVENTS
- We assist farms with outreach plans and either help plan and/or attend their events. We often provide the panelists.
- LOCAL EVENTS & CLUBS – ASSETS & RESOURCES
- We work with clubs and groups to provide a portfolio of outreach event assets focused on connecting the community.
That’s just a small sample of what we have working already! And each strategy was first developed and then tweaked (as needed) to adjust for success, ease and flexibility before the final winning concept is launched.
Give us some examples of bigger projects being considered.
We are also working with two Arabian horse-centered feature films that will be similar to Cass Olé and The Black Stallion, along with formats for multiple Arabian horse fair or festival concepts. We also already have valuable partnerships with mainstream partners like Western Horseman, Equus, Road to the Horse and Cowboys & Indians, just a few examples.
We’re also building a robust corporate structure that has already proven to be very effective, both for funding and (maybe more importantly) for sharing and cross-sharing co-branded content. As a clear example of scaled outreach via social media, one of our posts for Denver Bronco’s Thunder hit 182,000 likes and comments in just three days! The post went viral!
How can people get involved and help support WLAH?
We’re pleased to hear from Arabian horse lovers who want to assist, at home or in person, as well as those who may be interested in possibly sponsoring our activities or assisting us to build more opportunities via infrastructure. We’d love for anyone to visit our website – look for this info listed under ACTIONS, JOBS, SPONSORS or PARTNERS on our top navigation bar on the website.
As we grow, we’ll engage more volunteers who are empowered to assist and, those who can easily manage their role from home. Because of my work with We LOVE Arabian Horses, I’ve personally had many opportunities to meet so many Arabian horse lovers around the globe and, I’m constantly inspired by our mutual common interests and goals. It drives our respective passion for Arabian horses.
It’s amazing commonality and, although people’s life experiences vary, the Arabian horse love story is nearly always the same… in the Arabian Horse, they found their passion in a very special animal. Arabian horses “spoke” to them, or (in many cases) perhaps… it likely even touched their soul.
We Invite You to Visit Our Website
SEE OUR ARTICLE COLLECTION
SEE OUR SPONSOR OVERVIEW
SEE OUR PODCAST COLLECTION