Dog Guard’s Evolving Brand
Branding (with boundaries) for a
Since 1988, Dog Guard has given dogs the freedom to roam while providing owners with peace of mind. The company’s underground and electronic “fencing” systems work with a receiver collar and digital radio signal, creating boundaries both indoors and out. A national brand with markets and dealers across the country, Dog Guard is family-owned and operated—the kind of business we love to work with at Chalkbox.
We initially completed a few small projects for Dog Guard after Josh Huisenga (our founder) met Dean Watkins (the son of the company’s founder) in 2012. Several years later, when Dean took the helm of Dog Guard, he knew it was time to update the company’s brand identity.
Finding the brand’s potential
Dog Guard came to us with a logo and a stack of collateral designed by different people over many years. That’s not uncommon, especially for businesses that operate through dealers or sales associates spread across different locations. In Dog Guard’s case, these dealers are independent, but rely on company materials to help them sell to customers. An ineffective or inflexible brand identity sometimes can lead individuals to craft their own collateral based on local needs, making it very difficult to maintain brand consistency.
Our goals for Dog Guard included an update of the branding, but more important, we wanted to help design a brand system for the company—one that could easily extend to all other efforts and ensure the Dog Guard experience is unified across the website, brochures, packaging, and other collateral. This meant standardizing color, type, imagery, graphic elements, and language.
Working within an existing brand presents unique challenges, particularly when the system must be used while it is being modernized. But projects like these offer a clear opportunity to realize the potential of the brand more fully while also finding new ways to utilize it effectively.
A foundation of trust
It was easy to identify Dog Guard’s differentiators: Family-owned for decades, the company isn’t a subsidiary of some giant anonymous corporation. They know how important pets are to people, and genuinely care about keeping dogs safe. They also make sure the dealers who represent the company share those values and commitment to service.
The branding needed to be approachable while also reinforcing the reputation of trustworthiness and professionalism that Dog Guard has earned over the years. Dog owners who are considering the company’s product and service love their pets like family members, and take their safety very seriously.
Building on the past
We first made some minor adjustments to the logo, including an update of some typography that was very out of date. This created a more contemporary feel while helping Dog Guard stay connected to its roots. Over the years, we have extended this brand to include an official color palette, font guidelines, and supporting graphics like patterns and iconography. Going beyond graphic design, we also advised Dog Guard on the company’s approach to photography to ensure photos were more fitting for the brand, instead of dogs in clothes or stock images.
A tool kit of supporting materials (including advertising, vehicle wraps, and trade-show signage) create a visual perception of Dog Guard that aligns with the quality of the company’s products and service. Photos focus on dogs that are happy and running free—but not too free, of course. The combined effect of this work evokes feelings of safety, trust, and accessibility.
Ready for the future
Chalkbox has maintained a relationship with Dog Guard for many years now, managing a large number of the assets and variations for the company’s national network of dealers. We work closely and collaboratively with leadership so as needs change and audiences grow, they are able to adapt quickly.
Ultimately, the brand system offers a similar philosophy to Dog Guard’s own products: It allows for freedom and flexibility, yet with clearly defined boundaries that are beneficial for everyone.
“Josh and the entire team at Chalkbox have been an integral part of modernizing and refreshing our branded materials and all marketing collateral,” Dean says. “As a small manufacturer that focuses on B2B sales to our independent dealers, we have been very pleased with how the Chalkbox team engages with us and these dealers to seamlessly roll out new collateral and other pieces.”