Grow your non-pet related business with Commercial Dog Photography
Have you ever considered using dogs in your marketing, for your headshots, in your social media or featuring on our website?
But you’re not a pet brand, you might say? You don’t sell kibbles, harnesses or dog beds. Collars, chew toys or treats. Dogs are not your brand identity.
Yet it might surprise you to know that using dogs in you marketing can have a dramatic uptick in your company and brand image, your engagement with clients and ultimately, your sales.
Let’s unpick this bit by bit.
You want your clients to feel confident in you, your brand and your business, yet it may not seem a natural fit to pair an accountancy firm, a cleaning product or a hotel chain with a dog.
However, we have intently positive feeling towards photos of dogs and marketers are harnessing this to show a positive connection between your brand and its audience. Most consumers are captivated by animals, drawn in by the cuteness, the comedy and the emotion.
People tend to anthropomorphise our dogs, meaning we attribute human emotions to their actions and personality. We might think our dogs look guilty when we arrive home to find a chewed chair leg. The term fur-baby is widely used as an affectionate and loving term for our four-legged friend. I know for sure that my dog ‘smiles’ when she’s happy.
So our bond is strong as we gaze into those almost human-like eyes and we have a relatable, happy experience
And we remember these emotions. We remember the connection. And in association with these memories, your business comes to the forefront of our minds.
Think about the headshot you might have on your social profiles and website. It’s probably corporate looking, polished and proper. And that might be the image you’re looking to portray.
But imaging adding your dog into the mix. In this post pandemic world, people seem much less corporate, more relaxed, casual and friendly. Many are still working from home or taking their dogs into the office. Dogs appear on Zoom meetings, often with much hilarity. Dogs represent family values, show the real you and humanise your business.
Having a headshot taken with your dog, will soften your image and evoke feelings of trust, care and loyalty. At the risk of offending, clients will remember you far more as the person with the Springer sat on her lap looking ready to go, the scruffy little terrier with the inquisitive head tilt or the German Shepherd sat next to you looking strong and safe.
Take this a step further consider professional dog photos in your website, social media and marketing. The allure, bond and persuasion has already been set in motion just by looking at your dog pictures. Less corporate, promotional and ‘salesy’ and more friendly, approachable and relatable.
Use of Dogs in Advertising
So many more people have a dog following an explosion in ownership during the pandemic. Most owners would say that their dogs are an integral part of their family and a much loved household member.
And big brands have recognised and harnessed those feelings.
More recently, many more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon, using the allure of dogs to draw customers into the world of their brand. Cars, home, outdoor, beauty products – there’s no restriction on the type of ranges involving dogs in their marketing.
The iconic car manufacturer, Mini has teamed up with The Dogs Trust and aligned themselves with our dog-loving nation.
“You might’ve worked out that here at MINI we’re paw-sitively passionate about pooches. Which is why we’re on a mission to help the nation’s dogs travel happier. So, we’ve teamed up with the incredible dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, to get that mission on the move”
Extract taken from Mini’s website under the headline “Mini loves dogs. Dogs love Mini” with a gorgeous photo of a windswept, happy looking dog in the drivers seat, looking out of the window of a green Mini.
GoPro, Sotherby’s and Aldi are other big names to have featured dogs in their marketing.
If you watch the telly this evening and stay to watch the advertisements instead of making a brew, then I guarantee you’ll see dogs. Incredibly, one in three adverts now contain dogs. Not always up front and centre stage, but often subtly featured, embodying family values, comfort, laughter and happiness. Sofa ads with a dog curled up on a comfy seat are one such example, exuding warmth, relaxation and homeliness – the exact desired ethos.
Urban Decay and Bodyshop use dogs in their social media channels through the use of pet influencers to convey a message about the sort of brand they are and what they stand for. The Bodyshop believes in cruelty free manufacturing and is wholly committed against animal testing. Dogs attract customers so the messaging hits home.
Dog Branding Increases Sales
Let’s look at some facts and figures. The social media realtime analytics company Newswhip Spike did a study on engagement for 15 non pet-related brands. They’d noticed an increase in businesses using dogs in marketing on Instagram and wanted to check this trend out.
The average increase in comments of all 15 brands was 89%, while the average increase in likes was 19%. Eighty nine percent – wow!
Whether the company was a large corporation or a smaller business, the effect was the same. Using dogs increased likes, share and comments which ultimately leads to the holy grail of increased sales.
The range of dogs was huge, showing the vast appeal of most breeds. From French Bulldogs to Labradors, Collies, Golden Retrievers, Doodles, Jack Russell, Chihuahuas and Huskys. What a range of hounds!
The conclusion of their study found that social media followers related to more a more human element as opposed to a more corporate vibe.
Dog Photoshoot with your own Dog
How could you display your own business using your own dog to tell your own story?
Instead of using the same old stock image of a dog that’s been used thousands of times, tell your own story with your dog. Check out my wall art for examples.
I’ve already mentioned headshots but there is a myriad of ways in which a commercial dog photographer can focus on the message of you, your brand and your business and let the client into your world.
• Lifestyle shots showing you at work lets clients have a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. Clients want to buy from people and businesses that they know, like and trust so they need know the real you. Involve your own dog in one or two images. Snuggling on your sofa, walking the dog in your nearby beauty spot or walking into your place of work.
• Extend these lifestyle shots to office, factory or shop locations. The more people see of your business, the happier they feel about trusting to work with you. Let them have a sneak peek into your world and draw them in.
• Team photos with all your colleagues and office dogs. How often do I hear people say “I’m coming in tomorrow because I want to see your dog. Will he be there?” Show your team, human and furry, in all their happy, smiling glory!
In an every increasingly visual world, professional photography can make you stand out from the crowd. Photography communicates your story and message in an instant, hundreds of times quicker than the written word.
And your dog can help with creating that crucial connection between your brand and your potential clients, regardless of the size of your business. Dog images are eye-catching in your social media feed, on your website or anywhere you use to spend the word. Higher engagement has the potential for to broaden your audience reach.
So, at first glance, dog related images might not immediately spring to mind for your business. But add together the emotional connection, the softer appeal of trust and loyalty values, the evidence and usage by big market players, using professionally taken dog photos for you and your brand could definitely be worth a second thought.
Written by Nicki Cameron
Based in the UK, Nicki is the commercial dog photographer for The Art of Dog.
Find out more at https://theartofdog.co.uk and email Nicki@theartofdog.co.uk