Branding

Branding Lessons from Pet Day Care

There’s a pet boarding center in my town called The Farm at Natchez Trace. It’s pretty fancy… I’d probably love going there if I was a dog. There’s a lot of open space for them to run free and they even have different areas for different types of dogs. For example: They have large suites for families of dogs, private rooms for elderly dogs, and a special wing for special needs dogs.

Oh, and every suite includes room service, maid service, in-suite TVs, climate-controlled fresh air system, and comfy beds & blankets. Like I said, it’s fancy.

So anyway, my parents dropped their Yorkshire Terrier (Molly) off there this week while they went out of town and somewhere in the middle of their trip, my mom forwarded me an email. This email:

The people who run The Farm understand their customers. Pets are usually like children and leaving them alone in an unfamiliar environment can be very stressful. In the same way that parents like to call babysitters to make sure their kids are okay, pet owners like to know their pet is okay.

With the “check in” email, The Farm essentially says, “We know how you feel, and we want to reassure you that everything’s fine. And just to prove it, here are some pictures.”

As business owners in any industry, there’s a huge lesson here. Actually, there are a few huge lessons.

Know What’s Needed

(Emotionally, not physically.) Obviously for The Farm, the physical need is a building where a pet can stay. But pet owners need more in order to feel comfortable and confident leaving their pet with strangers. The owners of The Farm know that, because they’ve walked a mile in their customers’ shoes. The email provides emotional reassurance that everything is, in fact, just fine.

Similarly, we often have clients at Proof who physically need branding services to launch a new company, but what they emotionally need is some encouragement and a few reminders that, “It’s going to be okay and they’re going to do great.”

Check In

It’s no fun to invest in something and end up being met with radio silence from the other end. When your customers and clients are trusting you with something important to them, gentle reminders that you still exist are all but necessary. Even if you don’t feel like there’s anything to report. The point of checking in isn’t always the news… A lot of times it’s the thought that counts more.

Provide Unmatched Service

If you exercise the first two lessons, this third one comes pretty naturally. Providing unmatched service means paying attention to the details that other people neglect. I guarantee that whatever industry you’re in, there are holes that need filling. There are places for improvement that, if addressed, will make your customer feel more comfortable, more confident, and more likely to Find those holes and fill them with your product or service.

…And then follow through. Because none of this matters if you don’t live up to the hype. 

(Photo credit)

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