June 19 is Bring Your Dog to Work Day, which can add some fun energy to workplaces, assuming, of course, everyone behaves. Our friends at Dogtime.com did a nice job of the Dos and Don’ts for bringing your dog into work. But I’m going to offer some suggestions for deciding if a permanent Bring Your Dog to Work policy is right for your brand strategy.
In full disclosure, I must say that I am a dog person. Nonetheless, I will endeavor to be objective. However, I’m only human, so…
- Do spend some time thinking about your brand strategy and its personality. Not all brand personalities lend themselves to embracing canines and all the excitement, comfort, and merriment they can bring. If your brand prides itself on seriousness, focus, or deep thought, then perhaps you’re not a good candidate for a Bring Your Dog to Work policy. Conversely, if your brand comes to life with adjectives such as loyal, playful, and attentive, it arguably needs dogs at work!
- Do consider your customers. Much to my surprise, not everyone loves dogs. (I know, right?) If your business has a lot of foot traffic from customers, it’s probably best to pass on the pooches or create an employee-only section of the office where customers won’t have to interact with dogs or their allergens.
- Do consider your employees. Employees are equally important to your brand’s success as are your customers, so consider their points of view, too. Try to get general buy-in and find a way to accommodate those who have allergies or other aversions.
- Don’t overthink it. If you’re on the fence about the policy, first, just do it as a pilot program. That way you’re not committing to anything. However, I’d also recommend you look for other places indecision pops up in your business. A brand strategy can often help drive focus and decisions.
The bottom line is to let the brand guide you. If bringing dogs into the office aligns with your brand’s personality and does nothing to keep you from delivering on your brand’s pillars, go for it. (As a reminder, brand pillars are the relevant and competitively differentiated ways you deliver on your brand’s promise.) However, if having dogs around will challenge anything about your brand, work from home more to get that Fido fix.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Do you already have dogs in your offices? Let’s see! Tweet a photo of him or her to us @SB_branding and use the hashtag #BrandDog!