Branding does more than tell customers what you sell. Branding is a promise you make daily to your consumer. Every single time your customer interacts with you, it represents a new opportunity to keep that promise. They could be viewing your logo from the street. Maybe they’re inside the store, talking to a sales associate. It can even be a perfectly executed social media strategy. When done well, branding gives your pet supply shop the lift it needs to stand out and survive in a crowded field. Before you step back and give your branding efforts a check-up and a refresh, use this primer to help you flesh out your vision of the brand.
What makes your pet supply business unique?
Figuring out your brand means answering fundamental questions about what your business is and what it stands for:
- Are pet parents better off shopping at your store than the competition? Why?
- What do you have that the competition doesn’t?
- What makes your business worth the trip?
Answering these questions can help you discover what you do well — or your opportunities to improve. That brings us to the core question every small business owner and manager needs to answer: What’s your differentiator?
To wrap your head around what differentiators mean, think of the longtime lunch staple, the hot dog stand. On its own, the hot dog is a pretty decent lunch delivery system. If you look at major cities and regions around the U.S., you’ll find regional hot dogs, all styled with signature toppings. Now it’s not just a hot dog; it’s an experience, complete with passionate loyalists. Don’t even think about serving a Chicago dog without the poppy seed bun. Don’t question the baked beans that appear on your Fenway Park dog. Don’t fail to say “yes ma’am” to that topper of creamy coleslaw when you’re in the Deep South.
When thinking about your business, what’s the thing that makes the experience different and even exciting? These ideas on building brand loyalty can help.
What’s the story you share with customers?
Craft a good story around your brand and tell it often, and you’ll catch people’s attention. That’s because stories are the brain’s favorite way to process information. Stories engage multiple regions of the brain. Stories make complicated concepts understandable. Most of all, stories make us feel good. If you have a story, people will find your brand more relatable and feel good about spending their dollars with you.
When crafting your pet supply shop’s brand image, these five things are worthy of consideration.
Know your customers: When thinking about branding, think about your most likely customers. What core needs can your brand meet? Where are your growth opportunities, and how can you start reaching them? Are there other items or services you should add (like a dog-washing station) to make a stop at your store valuable?
Tag line: The best advertising slogans and campaigns tell a story in six words or less, sticking forever in the minds and hearts of consumers. For inspiration, check out this piece in AdAge on advertising’s most enduring slogans.
Colors and logo: How do your materials “communicate” with your customers? Do the colors of your logo, your signs and your décor strike the right mood? What do they suggest about your brand? Is it time for a refresh?
Company culture: What starts from the inside shows up on the outside. Consider what your associates say or do to make your customers feel welcome and meet their needs.
Reach out to influencers: Keep an eye out for up-and-coming individuals who are holding court in the pet lifestyle space. Give them the opportunity, and they can become the brand ambassador that builds new connections with your customers.
NutriSource Pet Foods does more than make locally sourced, high-quality pet food trusted by pet parents. You can also access our expertise through our informative pet articles and social media posts delivered right to your mailbox. Just visit NutriSourcePromoMktg.com to set up your free access to ready-to-publish pet content. Then, share it with your customers so you can do even more to help pet families live happy, healthy lives.