Think Tank: How to Get Your Business Known as “The” Place for Dogs
By Fernando Camacho
What’s the first company that comes to mind when I say computers? How about when I say cell phone? Or tablet?
If I had a farm, I’d be willing to bet it that you thought, Apple.
Apple is the most recognizable company in all of those spaces. Their name is almost synonymous with those products. Even if you don’t own an Apple computer or iPhone, I bet you still think of Apple when those things are talked about.
Why is that?
It’s not by random chance—no way—it’s because Apple engineered it. They trained you to think of them by keeping themselves top-of-mind in the places that you frequent the most. They created a ton of brand awareness campaigns over the years that have positioned themselves as the best. They demonstrated, educated and entertained us so that we would think of them when the time came to buy a new computer, mobile device and more.
Here’s the thing; no one will know about your business unless you tell them. And, the good news is, you have total control of that messaging. You can dictate the impression of your business and how you want the public to perceive you.
When it comes to marketing, everyone focuses on lead generation—getting new customers—but so many forget to also cultivate your brand in the marketplace, which is a huge mistake. If you want sizable, long-term growth and are looking to have a successful business that lasts for year to come, you need to build the awareness of everything you do in the marketplace.
Think of it like a basketball team. Everyone focuses on the guy scoring all the points; however, it’s the guy who passes him the ball that makes it all possible. If he’s not there, not much can happen. He sets everything up and has an equally important role in the success. If you don’t have brand awareness campaigns to assist your offers, you’ll be leaving lots of money on the table and jeopardizing the success of your business.
So, how do you build up your brand awareness?
1. Have a USP (unique selling proposition)
What makes your business unique? What do you do better than everyone else? Why would someone come to you over the competition?
If you’re a small boutique place, it could be the intimate environment, the small playgroups or the level of personal attention. If you’re a big, well-funded facility, it could be the state-of-the-art equipment or the training your staff receives. It could be anything and everything—you just need to know what it is and communicate that to the public.
2. Get Personal
People do business with people, not businesses. Let the public get to know the people behind the branding. Show them who you are and tell them about yourself as well as your staff. Once they get to know you better, your relationship will move from a transactional one to a social one, which will greatly increase loyalty.
3. Create Content
The more value you put out into the marketplace, the more valuable you will become. Help people understand what you do and why it’s beneficial, as well as how you do things and why. The more you put out there, the more you will be seen.
I recommend you layer your direct offers (buy now) with different types of brand awareness campaigns so that you’re continually warming people up to your business and getting them indoctrinated into your world, which will set them up to not only buy from you, but also help your brand be the first thing that everyone thinks of when someone says “dog daycare and boarding.”
Questions for this column come from the Facebook group The Dog Daycare Business Think Tank and are answered by Fernando Camacho (Fern). Fern runs Overdog Digital, a digital marketing agency specializing in working with dog daycare and boarding facilities. He does private business consulting, staff training and helps pet businesses utilize modern resources to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Fern is also the author of six books and is a speaker at national conferences and private events. To join the group or ask a question, go to: www.facebook.com/groups/dogdaycarethinktank