We’re pleased to start off the new year with some exciting news! Sniff Design Studio® was asked to write an article for up and coming Pets+ Magazine, a premier pet business to business mag.
Given our past and current experience in pet business branding we had the pleasure of contributing an article explaining the importance of not only having good branding – but professional branding.
If you’d like download and read the article click on the following link:
Command Your Brand Business Article by SniffDesignStudio for Pets+ Mag.
Otherwise, you can read it here:
COMMAND YOUR BRAND
THESE ARE FIVE CRITICAL BRANDING MISTAKES THAT WAY TOO MANY PET BUSINESSES MAKE.
BRANDING is a critical element in the success of any business, big or small. When done well, it’s like offering a firm handshake to each and every potential client you meet. And when done badly, it’s like sticking your tongue out at the world. So why do so many people get it wrong? Let’s look at five of the biggest branding mistakes that too many pet professionals regularly make.
Mistake #1: They don’t understand the power of a brand.
Your store design, logo, signage and advertising are all a bold statement that you are making to everyone who sees it. Those potential customers are going to quickly boil down your statement and file it in one of three basic categories: “We are really cool!” or “We are pretty average!” or “We are a freaking mess!” Once that statement is made, it is very hard to convince potential customers differently. This may sound like heresy to some, but a well-executed brand can even cover up for a weak service — at least for a little while. (At the very least, a strong brand buys you more tolerance for your mistakes.)
Mistake #2: They skimp on what it costs to build a brand.
Building a powerful brand takes time, skill and money. Too many pet business owners try to brand their new businesses (or re-brand their existing ones) over a single weekend. Saturday, they sip wine and think strategic “big” thoughts about their business. And then on Sunday, they go nuts with a CD of clip-art and a million Windows fonts. Believe me: in the end, your audience can see exactly what you invested in creating your brand. Just as bad as doing a bad D-I-Y job is hiring out your critical identity work to a $99-per-logo factory that doesn’t care one bit about what lasting impression your business will make.
Mistake #3: They don’t stick to strong brand guidelines.
Once you’ve established your brand style, stick to it. While it will be incredibly tempting to use a color or a font outside of your business’s usual style, doing this too often will negatively impact your customers’ perceptions. Customers see an
inconsistent brand as unreliable. This negative perception can be easily avoided by establishing a detailed style guide for your business and following it religiously. Stay disciplined!
Mistake #4: They build a brand and then let it stagnate.
If you’ve avoided Mistake #3 and maintained your brand guide lines for a period of time, eventually your cutting-edge identity will need refreshing. Logo artwork falls out of trend. Store signage fades and needs updating. Advertising campaigns run their course and need a new direction. (Even Met Life finally got rid of their famed Snoopy advertisements just a few months ago.) While the strongest brands might need only subtle changes over the long term, they are still in a constant process of changing and growing. Working with a knowledgeable pet industry designer can help you navigate this challenge and help your brand mature gracefully.
Mistake #5: They try to appeal to everyone.
To build the strongest possible brand, start by accepting the fact that you won’t appeal to everyone. The brand that connects most strongly with one type of customer is unlikely to connect as strongly with others. Don’t weaken your appeal and suck all the personality out of your brand by trying to reach everyone. Pick your niche and target customer, decide on your brand personality, and roll the dice!
MONICA CEVALLOS is founder and owner of Sniff Design Studio®; a small, award-winning graphic design boutique and pet blog that has catered exclusively to pet business professionals around the world since 2003. Contact Monica here.
Last but not least, if you are a pet business owner and/or manager you can get a FREE subscription of Pets+ Mag. Pawsome!
It’s Freebie Friday time! Hooray! As promised we had mentioned in our recent post ‘Mark Your Mark & Bark! – The Importance Of Pet Business Logo Design’, we have now made available a fun freebie for pet businesses to download and use. Here are 3 free marks/logo templates for you to download and use for your own pet sitting business, or dog daycare business, or dog walking business or for your very own dog blog. This cute pet business mark shows a hand with a paw mark centered in the palm; conveying the professional’s dedicated care and genuine love of their pet client. Nifty!
Pick your favorite and download it. Then download the matching font to add to it. Next, simply use it to add into your MS Word documents or PDF files. This pet business logo mark will surely come in handy when utilizing it for any type of home office use. Enjoy!
Click here to download the matching font: Bebas Neue
Today’s online technology has become something of a visual buffet, containing delicious images and graphics that are not only beautiful and informative; but whose purpose easily serves as a means of quickly relaying info to a target audience. Take infographics and in this case; pet infographics – after all what better way to quickly and visually promote one’s pet business and/or facts regarding their business to a specific audience?
You see, infographics are more than just entertaining to view; they are a powerful marketing tool. They offer a tangible and measurable value when it comes to promoting your pet business. They serve as a highly influential tool to translate numbers, statistics, percentages and demographics by conveying the information through rich imagery. They are also something that can be easily be shared across various social medias outlets and will thus continue to grow your audience by keeping your pet business brand in the public’s view.
3 Tips For Maximum Sharability:
Make the image embeddable in your pet business site or pet blog – allow users to take the image and easily place it on their own site or social network. Also, be sure to embed a link back to your own pet business site within the image so you still receive inbound links from these types of shares. ‘Furbulous’!!
Use social sharing buttons – Surround your pet related infographic with social sharing buttons that will allow visitors to easily Tweet, Pin, Facebook or share a link to your site on popular social networks. In other words – Make your mark and BARK!
Be proactive – Get a head start on the viral effect and bring your infographic to your users. Tweet, Facebook, Pin, Google +1, or share your pet infographic on LinkedIn. And add your infographic to sites like StumbleUpon and Digg to help generate random traffic. Now that’s ‘pawsome’.
Oh! Do you find yourself in need of a pet related infographic for you pet business and/or any statistics regarding it but don’t have the time to design it? Collabtorate with Sniff Design Studio
® and have us design one for you. We are really good at it. We ‘pawmise’.
In fact; here are two pet infographics we have already done and in collaboration with Pup Culture Magazine
Click on image to view the full size or to Pin it.
Click on image to view the full size or to Pin it.
So, here at Sniff Design Studio® our normal blog posts consists of fun and free pet related goodies that are available to download. Today’s post will a differ. Instead, we want to take a moment to talk about the importance of professional pet logo design and why it truly matters to your business. Your pet business logo will serve as one of the first impression’s a potential client will have of you and your establishment.
Whether the logo is placed on your site, business card or any other marketing item; you have brief window of time in which to form a professional and memorable mark. In other words you want to not only make a welcoming and professional impression, but also one that let’s you to truly make your ‘mark’ on the client.
Aside from other “free” or “crowd-sourcing” logo options out there; you must not allow yourself to get duped into believing that you can essentially get something for nothing, all without it – costing you down the road. There are to many horror stories out there of people who have done this only to regret it later. Simply put, keep in mind that you ARE worthy of having a professional pet business logo that reflects your training, certifications/degree, hard work and uncompromising dedicated care of your pet business.
Take a peek at some of the custom pet logo designs we have done for our national and international clients across various pet industries. Contact us today to get started – and for those who have an ultra shoe-string budget never fear! We have recently launched a new sister site (Sniff Design Basics), where you can get a “ready-made” pet business logo for only $99! Either way – you have now come across a perfect fit that will cater your professional and valued needs.
(Dig This: A little “freebie” will be posted next Friday, June 27th, 2014) in relation to this post. So, sit…stay and stay tuned for next week’s nifty pet design suprise)