New town, new store, new look

Home grown pets Marion Iowa

Just before Thanksgiving a power couple approached me for assistance in launching their new store in town. They knew how to set up and run a pet store, but needed assistance getting the word out. We spoke about their need for social media, public relations and digital marketing to start. In getting to know them I found out they had been successful across the state in a similar store, but wanted a new challenge of moving to a new town to open a store. I was excited to have them as part of my community and eager to help them make their dreams come true.

After a few discussions, it became clear they needed a new look for their store, but we were dealing with a very short time frame. They had been working on the brand concept for a while and nothing was really jumping out at them. Their focus was being pulled in so many directions in needing to ensure they had the products to fill the store and that their space was presentable to have customers on the first day of business – Black Friday. They just couldn’t focus on the brand.

Knowing the costs associated with opening a store, it became very clear that the new look for their brand needed to be part of this launch. First impressions, not to mention the cost of re-branding right after a launch could be devastating to a small business. My approach was to meet them where they were at to help draw out their vision for the brand. So I did what any Iowa girl would do, rolled up my sleeves and helped in anyway I could. I learned so much about their business, their products, their customers, and got to know them a bit better. This invaluable time allowed me to pull bits and pieces of their vision from them while they were in their natural element.

After years of helping others develop their brand, I knew the answers I needed to extract to create the vision without putting more stress and pressure on the owners to be creative. It was my goal to help spark the epiphany and knew it couldn’t be forced especially under these circumstances. Once the vision became clear, we got to work creating a new look for them. We presented our interpretation of their vision and it was a winner! The brand was created just in time to be used in all the signage, product labels, pricing sheets, gift certificates, t-shirts and even a truck wrap for the launch. We also used the new identity to brand their social and digital message promoting the launch and allowed us to use the soft opening to building brand awareness.

The buzz around the new brand was very well received as seen in the continued organic reach and growth on social and consistent foot traffic they have experienced since their soft opening. Their attention to the social media plan and brand consistency has proven effective in building their online and offline following. They carry the mission and passion of the brand over into the customer experience both offline and online which has translated into excellent reviews, customer loyalty and media attention.

We could have just taken the assignment and helped with the promotion piece of launch, but instead we looked at their business as a whole, assessed the needs, presented solutions that not only saved them money but helped them better position themselves in the marketplace. Their soft launch was a complete success. The 5-star treatment their customers are feeling is translating to their digital marketing efforts in the form of excellent reviews. Their new look represents the foundation of that excellence found in the owners, products and services they provide. And now the owners can check brand identity off their list, follow the road map to successful brand awareness we provided and focus on the things they are passionate about Home Grown Pets.


We are proud to partner with Home Grown Pets as an extension to their team. Home Grown Pets is a locally owned full-line pet store featuring home grown pets, all natural and eco friendly pet supplies, located Marion, Iowa. For more information, stop by the store or follow them on Facebook.