BarkBox on Branding: The Convergence of Culture & Audience

“Branding is thousands of tiny punches that add up.” And few deliver as many meaningful little punches as Bark & Co, the powerhouse brand dedicated to bringing joy to dog parents everywhere through innovative products and services like BarkBox. The company and its people love what they do and who they do it for. And it shows. This week, Bark’s Editor in Chief Stacie Grissom joined me for a chat on the On Brand podcast about all of this and much more.

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About Stacie Grissom

Stacie Grissom is the head of content at BARK, the company building a next-generation brand for dogs and dog people. Stacie leads the team behind the BARK’s interactive, humor-driven content strategy and is a co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Dogs and Their People. She lives in NYC with her rescue mutt, Pimm.


Episode Highlights

What’s the difference between a dog owner and a dog parent? And, does it matter? It does to Bark & Co. “A dog owner is someone who looks at their dog as property. Not as a part of the family. A dog parent throws parties and cares about the gifts they get their dog.” It’s this seemingly small distinction that Bark has built its brand around.

“We’re obsessed with dogs.” So how does Bark understand their audience? Do they develop complex personas rich with quantitative and qualitative demography? Not so much. “We only hire people who get dogs. Not everyone here has a dog but we all value dogs.”

‘Hump Day’ is a little different at Bark. When your business is dogs, ‘hump day’ takes on a new meaning. Looking for way to celebrate the middle of the week with their fans on social media, Bark leaned into the innuendo. Would this offend some? Sure. But again, they know their customers.

“If it makes us giggle we go ahead and post it.” This mix of culture, audience, and content, also informs their brand’s distinct voice, usually bringing a smile to their customers’ face.

“If I was a dog would you ride me?” #spiceupyourlife _ @roofusandkilo

A post shared by BarkBox (@barkbox) on

What brand has made Stacie smile recently? Stacie pointed us to the hip swimming trunks brand, Shinesty. “They’re super bro-ey. The way they about their products shows that they really know their audience.”

To learn more about Stacie, connect with her on LinkedIn or check out her content at BarkPost.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently Melanie Deziel gave us a shout on Twitter for our episode on native advertising featuring Melanie Deziel! Thanks for listening!

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