Pet Store Marketing: Branding

This article is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your pet store and make it a success. Whether you operate a brick and mortar pet store or an online pet supply mart, you know there's no shortage of competitors. In these series of articles you will find the tools you need to unleash your marketing prowess and get a leg up on the competition. With so many fish in the sea (or bowl, as it is), a thorough branding strategy is crucial to successful pet store marketing. For newcomers, and even for marketing veterans, it can be difficult to settle on a brand identity. The following information outlines the importance of pet store branding and provides guidelines to defining your company's image.

Importance of a branded image

If your pet store is not branded, then you're just another pet store. There's nothing special about you. If there's nothing special about you, then why would anyone want to do business with you, especially when your competition is constantly telling everyone how special they are? A pet store brand elicits emotion, spurs recognition and fuels sales. It identifies what you're best at and promotes that idea to prospects who are likely to buy based on that reason. That's why it's so important to brand your pet store.

How to identify your branded image


Though it can be tempting to jump right in, taking the time to carefully develop your pet store's branded image is well worth the investment. It can even mean the difference between failure and success. Follow this five-step process to help you identify your branded image:

  1. Define your niche - What is your niche in the pet store industry? Keep in mind that your niche and your brand are two different things: your niche is your primary product or service offering, or what makes it different from your competitors; while your brand represents the psychologically based ideals associated with your company. A branded image encompasses both of these. To define your niche, ask yourself how you differ from the competition. Perhaps you're known as the dog specialist, as the cat groomers, the quality pet food supply store, the affordable pet store or as the all-in-one service pet store.
  2. Describe your benefits - What are the benefits of doing business with you? This goes along with why your customers buy from you; but keep in mind that there are often many benefits to doing business with one company over another - and sometimes you have not yet realized all of them.
  3. Know your customers - Who buys from you, and why? What are their core values? Strive to know everything you can about your customers. You probably have a "perfect customer" profile, but you also have "secondary" customers who buy from you. Understand what motivates your customers, and you can develop a branded identity that brings comfort and makes an impression on your audience. Building relationships is integral to branding. Knowing your customers helps you develop relationships with your customers that are lasting and mutually rewarding. One of the best ways to gather this information is to simply ask your current customers.
  4. State your mission - Where are you now, and where do you want to take your company? What are your core values? How do you do what you do? Your branded identity should reflect not only who you are now, but also what you represent to your customers' collective futures.
  5. Sum it all up - Now, take everything you know and brainstorm. How can you express what you do, how you do it, and what that means to your customers in a concise phrase or tagline? Your tagline is at the core of your identity, ingrained in everything you do.

Branding through design

Skilled graphic design transforms your pet store's branded identity from an idea to an image. This image is what the world will see; the audience will perceive the ideals and emotions that your image expresses. The power of design is limitless, especially when you incorporate sound brand identity design principles for your pet store. Your pet store company colors, logo, corporate identity package, website, advertisements, marketing materials and other collateral are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design must be applied to all mediums. The goal is for prospects to be able to glance at your materials and instantly recognize who it's from and what you stand for. When you achieve that, you've developed a good pet store brand.