You work hard for your pet business, and you want your hard work to pay off. You may have a loyal customer base, but you’re wondering how you can find more customers and get customers to advocate for your business. The key is adding value to your pet business through innovation.
Making your pet business appear innovative to customers, clients, and investors is easier said than done. You need to be dependable but innovative, familiar but exciting, authoritative yet friendly. It’s a balancing act that many business owners can’t seem to get right. We’ve put together a primer to help you innovate your business and communicate your value to potential customers and investors.
Step 1: Find a Platform
You can’t demonstrate your value as a pet business if your prospective customers and clients don’t know who you are or what you’re about. One of the most important ways to add value to your pet business is with outreach campaigns highlighting your location and services. This can be as simple as posting on social media, or as elaborate as shooting a television commercial. In fact, the more avenues you find to communicate your brand’s value to your customers, the better. When your customer encounters your brand in a variety of contexts, they are more likely to view your business as innovative and trustworthy, and ultimately worthy of their business.
Establish Your Online Presence
Social media is a great resource for pet business owners because it’s free and widely used by potential customers. Many dog lovers enjoy showing off their photogenic pets online. Go on a ‘like’ spree on Facebook or Instagram. Leave some positive affirmations as comments on popular local pages. Snap some photos of your most photogenic puppy pals. Take the time to fill out or update your Google business profile with photos from your business and make sure you’re listed on Google Maps. It’s these small steps that add up to make your brand visible to customers, investors, and clients. In turn, business-owners who take advantage of their online presence appear savvy and competent in a fast-paced, tech-dominated world.
It’s not enough that you are active online; you need to foster a community that engages with your brand. You can ensure engagement on your social media by conducting giveaways or contests that encourage interaction with your business’s social media. If you’re posting consistently with entertaining content, the influx of users you’ll get from a contest or giveaway will lead to more followers, meaning more brand visibility and an increased sense of legitimacy and trustworthiness. Like it or not, having a greater online following means more reinforcement that your business is worth patronizing. Newer social media platforms like Tik Tok are a great way to demonstrate your business’s penchant for innovation because simply existing on a new and youthful social media platform is itself seen as cutting-edge and exciting.
While it may be the hot thing right now, social media isn’t the only way to reach your customers. Take Smoken Dakota Kennels in South Dakota, for example. They have a great online presence through their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok—but Co-founder and owner, Teri Jo, also took it upon herself to do a radio ad to communicate with her clients through as many avenues as possible. You can listen to her radio spot here.
Whatever the medium, it’s vital to find a platform so you can take control of your messaging and craft your pet business’s image into one that’s innovative and inviting.
Step 2: Stand Out from the Pack
it’s important to differentiate yourself from your peers in your services, messaging, and demeanor. Look at how your competitors and peers interact with current and prospective clients. You can look at successful businesses in the area to see how they portray themselves and how they deliver their messaging. There is value in finding ways you can emulate successful pet businesses, but there is also value in breaking the mold. What does the dog kennel down the street lack that you can provide? Is their yard covered in hot, painful gravel? Does their branding come off as humorless or unprofessional? As a dog lover yourself, think about what you want to see in a pet business.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Teri Jo’s radio ad for Smoken Dakota Kennels does more than simply inform prospective clients about the pet business itself. Teri Jo differentiates her business from the competition with Natura hybrid turf. By describing Natura to prospective clients, Teri Jo comes across as knowledgeable and invested in her business, meaning she’s invested in her clients’ pets. This sense of investment is absolutely vital in the pet business. Every dog lover wants their dog to be treated well—and if you communicate your willingness to invest in your clients’ pets they will, in turn, invest in your business. Natura turf is a great way to innovate your pet business because it’s new and exciting, and the results will be apparent to your clients on their dogs’ paws. Natura turf also offers the opportunity to discuss the importance of paw and yard health with your clients. You can position yourself around common enemies: muddy paws and bare patches in the yard.
It’s valuable to get an idea of what those around you are doing so you can find ways to innovate. With any luck, you’ll find some niche where you can fit in. It may just be that many pet owners in the area are looking for a pet business to fit into that very same niche. We engineered Natura hybrid-turf as a response to a set of problems we heard again and again: mud, dug up yards, and bare, grassless patches. As dog lovers ourselves, we couldn’t find any solution that addressed those problems the way Natura did. That’s how we knew we had an innovative product. It’s often these common pain points that lead to innovation when someone imagines a new solution to an old problem.
Step 3: Keep the Conversation Going
It’s not enough to have a robust marketing presence and an innovative service; your business can’t rest on its laurels by assuming that its current messaging and techniques will be innovative forever. The trick, then, is to maintain an ongoing conversation with your clients, prospective clients, and yes, even your competitors.
Again, social media is a great resource for this because it’s widely used and is a direct line of contact between your business and the public. You can post a series of questions that act as an ad hoc survey. You can encourage clients and prospective clients to direct message you with questions or concerns. Keeping the conversation going not only supplies you with fresh ideas to stay ahead of the curve, but it also gives your company a friendly, receptive, and human quality in the eyes of the public.
Keep your ear to the ground and listen to what pet owners are saying, what bothers them, what they wish they could do or have. If you’re in touch with what dog owners want, it becomes that much easier to be an early adopter of products and services that fulfill those desires. Remember, it’s not just our canine companions who love new toys.