the Handsome H
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Barkers
Pets at Home are known for their out-of-town warehouse stores. But they’d long had an ambition to be on the High Street. Not with the same business model, but something completely different: A store for dog-lovers in dog-loving areas.

The first store was opening in Wilmslow, Cheshire. It needed to play an active role in the local community, have a unique feel and change perceptions of what a shop for dogs could be. We said it shouldn’t just be for pampered pooches. It should be fun for all mutts. But not ridiculous.

So, we developed the brand positioning ‘We’re Barkers for dogs’ based around the store name. It set the perfect tone for a company that’s crazy about dogs. But also explained how they should do business, who their audience is, what products and services they should offer and the kind of people they should employ.

The core idea behind the identity was to ensure everyone knew this was a shop for dogs. And nothing else. We even wrote the website so it barked to dogs, not owners. A bit mad, but it worked.

It’s even got the client wagging their tail. “Our objective was to create the best dog shop in the world and I think we’ve done it.”
Helping Pets at Home create the best dog shop in the world
Children in Wilmslow sent
in pictures for the store’s
hoarding, bringing Barkers
into their local community.
It got people talking, resulting
in a queue down the street
for the store’s opening.
“Imagine a place you love
to go. A place you can relax,
meet friends, have a chat.
Picture that place in your
head. That’s how we wanted
Barkers to feel.”
 
Caroline Norbury
Head of Store Proposition
We commissioned Giulia
Sagramola who produced
some wonderful illustrations
of dogs for our campaign
and website.
“Our objective was to
create the best dog
shop in the world and
I think we’ve done it.”
 
Peter Pritchard
Pets at Home Commercial Director