/ THE SITUATION
Most business owners underestimate the significance of brand-building. When my wife and I started our company in 2020, we decided to put brand building first. And with the Fawn & Moose Collar Co., we’ve done just that.
My wife, Caroline and I are what you’d call “Dog people.” So it was only natural that our business revolved around them. Caroline and her daughter developed the first prototype collars, and we’ve been adjusting and iterating ever since. We started selling to friends. Then friends of friends, via Instagram, word of mouth, Farmer’s Markets and now via our e-commerce website and social channel shops.
/ THE SOLUTION
From the beginning, we clearly knew who our customers were and what we thought would appeal to them. Our audience are people who love exploring the outdoors and go everywhere with their furry sidekicks. We wanted our brand to be fun and playful but also outdoorsy. And we knew we’d be applying our logo all over the place.
Since we knew that the first need for the logo would be tags, we decided to create a round logo in 1 colour, and since we believed our audience to be more outdoorsy than most, we incorporated symbolic mountains and waves too.
We started with bins of beads, wire and tools and set up tables at outdoor markets. We’d have a handful of collars premade, and then we’d make collars on-demand to customers’ designs. We got some interest, but we soon realized that:
- Customers can take ages trying colour options
- Making collars on site means we need to bring loads of equipment and supplies
- We didn’t have a product so much as we had a service (“custom dog collars”)
- Markets are way too hard to sell dog collars at
With just over 100 different colours and finishes of beads in our inventory and 13 sizes ranging from around 10 inches to over 22 inches, the possible product variations get out of hand quickly!
We decided to make collar mockup images instead of pre-making collars and bringing them to market. We photographed and retouched each bead and then created mockup collar images in Photoshop. This approach lets us have identical images of each collar so customers would focus on the designs, not the differences in photos between one collar and another.
We quickly developed over 300 designs this way, then built an e-commerce website that let users shop by materials type (acrylic or silicone beads) and then design category.
We also tried our hand at making dog shampoo bars and importing our own branded collar lights and knitted hats as well.
/ THE RESULT
Fawn & Moose is growing! We’re adding new followers each month, and collar sales continue to climb as happy customers sell their friends on Fawn & Moose. We’re excited about our expansion into retail in 2023 and will continue to evolve our brand, our site, and our customer experience.