Updated: Mar 18
Welcome to the 9th blog post of many where I go into each and every interview from the 2019 Empowered Petpreneur Interview Series, where I chatted with pet industry experts and business owners all about how to feel at ease while confidently running and growing a successful pet business.
For those of you who missed the series, I still wanted to share with you a snippet from the interview, some of the important takeaways I learned from each interview, and some other things you can learn by watching the rest of the interview!
This blog post will go into Kaila’s interview on what successful branding can do for your bottom line and your success in the pet industry and how to get started, whether it means DIYing your branding or hiring a professional designer.
This post is part of Pet Marketing Unleashed’s Blog Series on The Empowered Petpreneur Interview Series. Click here to access the full interview series.
Interview 9 - Kaila Piepkow from Dox Design On...
The Impact Of Successful Branding & How To Master It
Kaila Piepkow is both a dreamer and a doer, as a professional designer and creative director, she has a knack for bringing her client’s visions to life. After a few years working in the fast-paced agency world, Kaila decided to take her extensive knowledge of design, branding, and marketing along with her love for dogs and combine them into one, creating Dox Design. Dox Design is a full-service design and marketing agency that focuses on the pet industry.
Kaila is a good friend of mine - we actually connected via the pet industry branding and web design world and instantly connected. We’re both big on the community over competition movement and love the projects we’ve worked on together.
She’s a genius when it comes to quality pet biz branding and I was so excited to interview her for the online series (maybe I’m a bit biased since I’m a designer, too), but hey, it’s good stuff!!
See for yourself, below!
Watch this two-minute snippet of the interview where Kaila goes into why a logo itself is never enough:
The Major Takeaways
1. Invest in Branding Upfront
One of Kaila’s biggest recommendations is to just invest in it upfront. It’s more costly to you and your business when you have missing pieces. Not to mention lost clientele because your brand isn’t recognizable. It can easily end up costing you MORE in the long run for losing those potential clients, having to revamp the branding anyways, and then invest again in the new branding.
It’s essential to build the right foundation from the start, so you can start speaking to those that will resonate with what you offer. That doesn’t mean you have to start big, but it’s worth it to invest even in a small branding package to get yourself started on the right track and then expand from there (and hey, if you’re already convinced, check out both Dox Design’s and Pet Marketing Unleashed’s branding packages here).
2. ‘Pet Parents’ Aren’t Your Ideal Customer
It’s so much more than that and for those that just say ‘pet owners’ as their ideal market, you’re missing out on lots of business! Now, I know that seems maybe opposite of what you’re thinking because if you were marketing your business to ALL pet business owners, you’d have a much larger audience you’re looking at compared to those just marketing to...obsessive dog moms/Millennials to live in an urban city.
However, the businesses that truly succeed are the ones that speak to a specific person. Because the percentage of those dog mom’s mentioned above who will purchase your service or product is exponentially higher than the pet parent market at large. And from there, you start to build more loyalty, community, and repeat purchasers. That’s the essence of branding - how well can you speak to a SPECIFIC audience? Because, the more successful you are at that, the more success your business will have.
3. Consistency Is Key!
Amen, Kaila! One of the biggest mistakes I see pet businesses make is not using their branding elsewhere in their business. If you’re paying someone to develop branding guidelines for you and you aren’t using it in every single aspect of your business (from business cards and print materials to social media graphics and apparel), you are essentially throwing money in the toilet!
Those guidelines are there for a reason and it’s to help you remain consistent, help you build more brand awareness, help new clients or customers align with what you’re selling, and help build a community around what you offer.
So, even if you’re DIYing your brand and not quite ready to make that investment, at least be consistent across the board. Make so that, if someone (without seeing your logo or business name) sees a business card and then sees you at a local event and then sees you on a pet store aisle, they’d immediately and almost subconsciously recognize it as your business.
That’s successful consistency - and it’s priceless!
The rest of this interview goes into:
What actually is a brand?
How to get started when it comes to creating a brand that stands out
How to find proper stock photography and not use the infamous Jack Russel holding up a sign. ;)
Resources for pet brands just starting out!