Man’s Best Friend(s): his dog, and his marketing partner.

By Mark Jerkins
vice president, Tinsley Creative

For those of you that know me, I tend to reference situations with analogies. Something I’ve always done. To me, the decoding and encoding of communication is important, yet vastly different how we all use and personally interpret information. The analogy aspect of that process simplifies understanding and can break the message down to help people relate better to the subject matter at hand. And often times, the analogy is injected with a touch of humor which I believe can always assist with making a connection with someone. Or in this case…some “thing”.

Which brings me to the topic at hand, Memphis. Memphis is my pride and joy. My 150-lb. Great Dane that I have the pleasure of coming home to every day. You could say we’re closer than two bears on a moped. His backstory is that he’s a rescue. I got him when he was just two, which by Great Dane standards is just past the puppy stage. Don’t let that fool you. He’s a young Dane at heart and is full of life, and himself. Everyone that knows Memphis knows that the deep, wall-rattling bark you hear when you come to my door is overshadowed by his unbelievably huge heart and the sweetest of dispositions.

As I’m standing over his dog bowl the other morning – after he’s stepped all over my feet and shoved me out of the way because I’ve opened up the plastic container of peanut butter-filled pretzels to pour in it for a little snack treat for the big guy – it got me thinking. He’ll turn five in about a month, and he can pretty much take care of himself (he eats when he’s hungry, he sleeps when he’s tired, he grabs his big overstuffed soft toy monkey when he wants to play, and he back-talks when he doesn’t agree with me), yet somebody has to put the food down. Somebody has to fill his water bowl. Somebody has to buy the chew toys. Now, I reap the benefits of all his love and drool for doing those things, and he’s an extension of me. He’s a living, breathing beautiful creature that gives back tenfold what I give him. So I want to do everything I can to keep him happy and healthy.

Isn’t that how we (should) feel about our brand? Think about it. Your brand – whether it’s a product or service, big or small, young or mature – is a living, breathing entity that requires attention and some TLC. And when you turn your attention to improving it, it can also give back tenfold. It may not be immediate, but it happens. If your brand is new, maybe a startup of some sort or a new venture, then you’re in the puppy stage requiring extra additional attention while it grows. If your brand is established and seasoned, you look to exercise it and revitalize it when appropriate to maintain its longevity. And if at any stage you neglect, then you’re doing a huge disservice to not only it, but all the hard work you’ve put into it to date, not to mention its health.

Now, chances are pretty good your brand doesn’t sling drool on the walls and leave piles in the backyard that make the neighbors think you’re running a mini Jurassic Park like Memphis does,
but every brand will show signs of need in other ways…if you’re paying attention. Chances are, you want to be as close to your brand as you are the wagging tail on the other end of your door, because you’ve poured your heart and soul into making sure it thrives. Because you love it.

Now in reference to both our pets and our brands, some days you’ll come home and shake your head. Others days you’ll laugh so hard at the quirks. But through the good days and the bad, you wouldn’t trade any of it. And we get up the next day even more determined to do everything we can to improve them. Or at least we should. A little attention goes a long way.

So next time you find yourself standing over the “food bowl”, don’t think of it as routine or go about it blindly. Every time you feed “it”, it’s important.

Mark Jerkins

Mark Jerkins

vice president – account services/media relations at Tinsley Creative
Mark brings 15+ years of expertise in numerous branding and marketing initiatives to the team. Mark’s experience includes brand consulting, public relations, media planning & buying, social media and copywriting in numerous industries including marine, software technology, insurance, residential and commercial real estate, food and beverage, healthcare, fragrance and law to name a few. Bringing a sharp awareness and common sense approach to marketing objectives – as well as a successful track record of consultation, promotion and implementation of numerous campaigns throughout his career – Mark has become an integral partner for his clients.
Mark Jerkins

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