The Lost Dogs Home is the most significant animal shelter in Melbourne (and Victoria) and has been since 1910. The brand had become unfit for purpose for numerous reasons and we were briefed to rename and redevelop the brand, to bring it up to date, and make it relevant again. We know that each and every animal and their human partner has innumerable stories to tell, emotional, nuanced and often very witty. By telling these stories, we have brought the Home's brand to life.
We were inspired by the unique and beautiful stories of the animals and their owners. Filled with a range of emotions, sometimes witty and always empathetic, they were all very touching and provided a rich and positive source of relatable content. We decided to clearly articulate these stories to engage a broad audience with the aim of inspiring more people to either adopt their own animals or donate to the Home whilst sowing the seeds for lifelong relationships to blossom.
Our research involved the collection of anecdotal stories of animals, owners and animal lovers. We also conducted broad-ranging research into competitor brands. The objectives of this were, respectively, to find archetypical stories that summed up specific emotive moments and interactions between pets and their owners that a broad audience could relate to; and to ensure that the Home's positioning was distinct from its competitors. Our methodology involved numerous discussions with our client, site visits where we observed visitors to the home, reviews of stories from their existing material (including video), extensive reading of social media relating to pets and other web research. The results confirmed that the emotional relationship between animals and their owners was powerful and universal – shared by all demographics across all age groups. The results of competitor research showed a remarkable similarity in their solutions with the 'dog and cat' symbol cliche abounding. These results drove our solution by providing unique, powerful and emotional content which is timeless and sustainable (there is an endless supply of these stories). We also avoided the stereotypical dog and cat graphic, focussing instead on the concept of the 'Home' as the centre of our world – Home to the animals, Home to the employees and Home to all the emotional values we aspire to.
Implementation is only just begun and anecdotally response has been outstanding.